SBD/Issue 138/Leagues & Governing Bodies

League Notes's Pierre LeBrun cited sources as indicating that NHLPA Exec Dir Paul Kelly recently invited NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman "to the players' annual summer meetings in Las Vegas in June and [Bettman] has accepted." LeBrun noted it is "believed to be a first in NHL history to have the commissioner speak to the players directly at their meetings; at the very least, we know it's a first for Bettman since he took the helm in February 1993." Sources also indicated that the NHL has "signed a three-year deal" with the Palms Resort & Casino in Las Vegas to host its annual awards show, "guaranteeing the event will be there through 2011" (, 4/4).

DOLLARS & SENSE:'s Ian Thomsen noted NBA players this season "continued to rake in huge salaries while the larger economy comes shattering down all around them." Official NBA payroll figures indicated that "more than $2,144,283,570 is being paid to 507 players" this year, which "makes for an average salary of $4.2[M]." Thomsen wrote the Lakers and Magic are the league's two "most efficient franchises," as the Lakers have a $78.3M payroll, or $1.22M per win, while the Magic have a $70.1M payroll, or $1.13M per win. Meanwhile, the Wizards and Kings are the league's two "most wasteful franchises," as the Wizards have a $70.6M payroll, or $3.72M per win, while the Kings have a $67.3M payroll, or $3.74M per win (, 4/3).

STILL SPEEDING ALONG: In N.Y., Brad Spurgeon wrote the financial situation of the current F1 season will be "little different from past years thanks to sponsorship, circuit hosting and television contracts signed years in advance," though ticket sales and corporate spending "could be off." Much will "depend on where the economy goes and how successfully the series cuts costs," but "many people inside and outside the sport say it remains a value for advertisers." Former F1 team Minardi Owner Paul Stoddart: "It is still the best bang for buck spent in advertising anywhere in the world, and I would argue one of the best sporting opportunities because you're in so many parts of the world, televised to so many different countries" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/5).

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