SBD/24/Leagues Governing Bodies

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              The NFL is "negotiating to buy a stake" in the AFL,
         according to BLOOMBERG's Curtis Eichelberger.  NFL President
         Neil Austrian "acknowledged" that NFL execs have met with
         the league, but that the AFL has "yet to bring a proposal to
         NFL owners."  AFL Commissioner David Baker said he hopes to
         start a "sibling league in Canada in 2000 and a third league
         in Europe in 2002."  The AFL "also hopes to establish
         regional leagues played in smaller-capacity venues near
         colleges -- a key market for the development of higher wage-
         earning NFL fans" (BLOOMBERG BUSINESS NEWS, 6/24).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL

              The ECHL announced that Little Rock, AR, will join the
         league for the '99-2000 season, becoming the ECHL's 29th
         member.  The club will play at the 16,377-seat Alltel Arena
         in North Little Rock, presently under construction (ECHL). 
         In Little Rock, George Schroeder reports that AR Sports
         Entertainment will pay the team's $1.5M franchise fee.  Dave
         Berryman is President & CEO of the group, which includes his
         brother, Tim.  The ECHL team will be Arkansas' second pro
         hockey franchise, following the WPHL Arkansas GlacierCats,
         which will play at Barton Coliseum.  The Berrymans signed a
         five-year exclusive deal with the Alltel Arena board in May. 
         Dave Berryman said his group considered both the AHL and
         IHL, but said the ECHL "offers the most stability and
         credibility in minor league hockey today."  ECHL CEO Rick
         Adams, on hand for the announcement, said the league plans
         to expand to 32 teams by '99 (ARK DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE, 6/24). 

    Print | Tags: AHL, ECHL, Leagues and Governing Bodies

              NBA LABOR: On "SportsCenter," ESPN's David Aldridge
         reported that NBA owners "are really hammering the union on
         trying to get limitations on the Larry Bird exemption, and
         the union is adamant about not having any exceptions and in
         fact they want more exceptions to the cap.  So what I think
         we have to start with is the league's not giving up the
         salary cap, the players aren't giving up the Larry Bird
         exception.  If both sides could agree on that as a starting
         point and work their way in, I think that there would be a
         much better chance of getting an agreement" (ESPN, 6/23).
              THIS BUD'S FOR YOU: In Raleigh, a NEWS & OBSERVER
         editorial titled "Say It Ain't So" comments on Bud Selig
         being named full-time MLB Commissioner: "The game needs one
         strong, independent leader who will serve the game and the
         fans first.  More of the same -- particularly if another
         labor crisis is bungled -- will breed cynicism in all those
         bleachers and boxes, and ultimately will diminish the
         importance and popularity of baseball" (NEWS & OBSERVER,
         6/24).  In S.F., Glenn Dickey writes that Selig's "apparent
         promotion bothers me," including the "way he campaigned for
         the job.  I'd have respected him if he said he wanted the
         job, but instead, he's played the reluctant suitor while
         actively lining up support" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 6/24).  
              NOTES: On "Page Six" of the N.Y. POST, Richard Johnson
         writes that as the WNBA opens its second season, "basketball
         fever appears to be the biggest thing to hit New York's
         lesbian community since the craze over TV's popular 'Xena:
         Warrior Princess.'"  Out magazine writer Deb Schwartz: "The
         WNBA won't comment, but it's pretty obvious that there's a
         huge lesbian following.  The games have become a place to
         meet and greet."  WNBA Dir of Corporate Communications Alice
         McGillion said that the league "had no way of measuring the
         degree of lesbian support."  McGillion: "We don't ask people
         that question (about their sexual orientation)" (N.Y. POST,
         6/24)....USA TODAY continues to chart '97 NFL player
         salaries with a list of all NFC salaries (USA TODAY, 6/24). 

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, NBA, NFL, Walt Disney, WNBA
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