SBD/8/Leagues Governing Bodies

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              BASEBALL: USA TODAY reports that interleague play
         continued to draw well, as attendance through "all but one
         game" this weekend averaged 34,459, up from the regular
         season average of 26,568 (USA TODAY, 6/8)....In DC, Mark
         Maske examined the prospects of an international baseball
         tournament and reported that "sources close to the situation
         say that if there is an event in the fall of 1999, it likely
         would be a scaled-down invitational tournament rather than a
         full-scale World Cup" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/7)....In Boston,
         Peter Gammons, on the Mets trade for Hideo Nomo: "At a time
         when the NBA is flying its star back and forth between
         Chicago and Salt Lake City in his last final hurrah before
         its lockout/strike and no more than 11 people in Fairfax
         County know who's in the Stanley Cup finals, baseball's
         renaissance fair has moved to Broadway (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/7).
         ...ESPN's Mike Lupica, on AL President Gene Budig's
         suspension of players and managers after the Angles-Royals
         melee: "To me, he has acted more like a commissioner lately
         than any commissioner that we have.  He sent a powerful
         message by going after the managers here" ("The Sports
         Reporters," ESPN, 6/7)....In N.Y., Iver Peterson examined
         minor league baseball's move "into the teeming suburbs of
         metropolitan New York.  The "sudden interest" in minor
         league ball is attributed to a "robust economy, the bargain
         basement admission prices and easy access.  Above all, they
         credit the mood of baby boomers" looking for family-oriented
         entertainment (N.Y. TIMES, 6/6).
              RACING: NASCAR's Pontiac Excitement 400 drew the
         largest crowd to witness a sporting event in VA, as 103,000
         fans attended the Richmond Int'l Raceway (TIMES-DISPATCH,
         6/7)....Three-day attendance for CART's ITT Automotive
         Detroit Grand Prix was "down slightly from last season,"
         drawing 146,135 compared to 157,542.  Sunday's Grand Prix
         drew 64,458, about 3,000 over last year (DETROIT NEWS, 6/8).

    Print | Tags: ESPN, General Motors, Kansas City Royals, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NASCAR, NBA, New York Mets, Walt Disney

              In an effort to "head off a potential boycott" of this
         summer's World Championships in Athens, USA Basketball has
         sent letters to team members "threatening legal action if
         the players fail to honor their signed contracts with the
         organization," according to Mike Wise of the N.Y. TIMES. 
         Two agents representing players on the team said that the
         letter requests they make their intentions known and "ends
         with the threat of legal action."   Wise: "Whether USA
         Basketball will file separate suits charging breach of
         contract against the players is unclear.  But the action is
         the latest indication that players and owners have a long
         summer ahead, and that a lockout is almost certain" (N.Y.
         TIMES, 6/7).  In L.A., Mark Heisler reported that if NBA
         players boycott the Championships, USA Basketball "is
         expected" to send its Goodwill Games team of collegians
         (L.A. TIMES, 6/7).  But in Houston, Eddie Sefko called on
         NBA players to participate in the Championships, win a gold
         medal, and then "revel" from the "wave of positive public
         sentiment that would be working in their favor" in CBA
         negotiations.  One NBA "insider" involved in USA Basketball
         says this "scenario" has been discussed by the players and
         "met with general approval" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 6/6).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA

              NBA veterans "have been duped by the superstars and
         their agents into thinking" that the "Larry Bird Exemption"
         was in the "best interest of all players," according to
         Dwight Jaynes of the Portland OREGONIAN.  Jaynes: "It isn't.
         And it will be interesting to see what will happen within
         the union if the vast, silent majority of players wakes up
         and understands that if the big stars don't have the ability
         to make $15 million per season, there will be more money for
         the rest of them."  But he wrote that the players are not
         "going to listen until they face one harsh reality: It's
         better to be working for a fair and, in fact, sizable wage
         than it is to be locked out of [a] job and earning nothing
         while in search of even more money" (OREGONIAN, 6/5).
              LOCKOUT WATCH: In Denver, Mike Monroe wrote that at a
         time "when the league should be reveling in its glorious
         fascination, everyone connected with the sport is holding
         his or her breath."  He wrote that a lockout "appears
         inevitable," and added, "Count on it."  NBA owners "felt
         strongly enough about fundamental change that they decided
         the risk" of re-opening the CBA "was worth it" (DENVER POST,
         6/7).  In Seattle, Steve Kelley, a self-professed NBA fan,
         wrote, "There is a growing public cynicism about the NBA; a
         belief among the ticket-buying public that the players and
         the owners have forgotten about the fans.  A work stoppage
         would feed that cynicism" (SEATTLE TIMES, 6/5). In St. Paul,
         Tom Powers wrote the NBA's image "is about to take a major
         hit ... all because of labor problems" (ST. PAUL PIONEER
         PRESS, 6/7).  In Charlotte, Rick Bonnell wrote that any NBA
         team employee who discusses labor issues faces a $1M fine by
         the league.  Bonnell, after attending the pre-draft camp in
         Chicago: "Everyone I spoke with is convinced there's no
         compromise in sight" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 6/7).  In San
         Antonio, Glenn Rogers on why the union and league can't
         reach a sensible financial solution: "What's lacking is any
         semblance of trust, on either side" (EXPRESS NEWS, 6/6).
              WORLD PARTY: The Spurs will play the Clippers on
         December 12 at Mexico City's Palacio de los Deportes.  OCESA
         Presenta will serve as the local promoter for the game (SAN
         ANTONIO EXPRESS NEWS, 6/8). In France, the CHICAGO TRIBUNE's
         Philip Hersh wrote that soccer "remains the world's most
         popular sport, but basketball has made tremendous gains in
         the last decade, especially in Asia and Africa." In France,
         basketball "has become the most popular sport for many
         adolescents, especially in the poor suburbs of Paris that
         are home to many Arabs and black African immigrants"
         (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/7).  BLOOMBERG NEWS' Jerry Crasnick
         wrote under the header, "Could Baseball Benefit From Michael
         Jordan's Retirement?"  Andy Berlin, from N.Y. ad agency
         Berlin, Cameron & Partners: "Basketball has its act together
         more than the NFL or baseball.  It's a far more professional
         marketing organization.  Go to Kenya and you'll see people
         wearing Chicago Bulls shirts" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 6/5).  
              NOTES: Heat President & Exec VP/Business Jay Cross: "We
         definitely would lose more money by playing next season than
         not playing" (MIAMI HERALD, 6/8).  In Akron, Chris Tomasson
         is writing a five-part series on the state of the NBA.  Part
         One on Sunday examined the "issues and problems facing the
         sport"; Part Two today looks at the "rising players
         salaries" (BEACON JOURNAL 6/7-9).  In Boston, Peter May:
         "Can it be true that the IRS is going to drop the hammer on
         as many as 15 referees after the playoffs?" (BOSTON GLOBE,
         6/7).  In Chicago, Sam Smith wrote of talk that the IRS
         "agreed to hold off until later this month indictments of a
         number of top" refs (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/7). 

    Print | Tags: Chicago Bulls, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, NBA, NFL, San Antonio Spurs
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