SBD/Issue 88/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Print All
  • Giants' Mara First Owner To Speak Extensively About NFL CBA Talks

    Mara Says He Is Resigned To
    An Uncapped Season In 2010
    NFL Giants President & CEO John Mara yesterday said that he is "resigned to an uncapped season in 2010 and thought the union and owners might be moving further apart in talks toward a new labor agreement," according to Judy Battista of the N.Y. TIMES. Mara yesterday was among the owners who "took part in the 11th negotiating session with union leaders" in DC, and he is the "first owner to speak extensively since negotiations began." Mara said that he "still had hope that a lockout could be averted." However, he added, "I don't think we're making any progress. We made a proposal in early November. I don't think we've received a meaningful counterproposal. The point that we try to make to them is that the costs and risks are much greater than they ever have been. ... They want a deal that is equal to or better than the existing one, and that is not acceptable to us." Battista notes Mara's comments represent a "ratcheting up of rhetoric between the two sides and is particularly noteworthy," as "until now, owners have avoided speaking publicly about negotiations at the behest of Commissioner Roger Goodell." By allowing Mara to "speak about feelings privately shared by other owners, management is likely hoping to win over public opinion." The "crux of negotiations is how to divide a revenue pie" of about $8.5B. The current CBA "calls for players to receive nearly 60[%] of revenue," but the NFLPA "views the real percentage players receive as closer to 51[%], and union leaders think owners want a rollback" of 18%. Meanwhile, both sides "seem to agree that a rookie cap is necessary to redirect money to current and retired players." Mara: "We'd rather have money going to retired players and veteran players as opposed to unproven rookies." Battista writes the "need for a limit on rookie wages may be the only common ground players and management have" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/20).

    NUMBERS GAME:'s Peter King wrote NFLPA Exec Dir DeMaurice Smith "would never walk into a room and try to present a contract to players that called for them to take" an 18% pay cut. Before CBA talks are "even close to a conclusion, the NFL will have more money thrown into the pot -- from negotiations over how much of a contribution players should make to the new stadium construction leaguewide (if anything), from the new money coming in from two additional regular-season [games], and from the money funneled to veterans if and when a rookie salary pool is instituted, which could mean upwards of $150[M] per year put into the veteran payment pool" (, 1/19). NFLPA Assistant Exec Dir of External Affairs George Atallah wrote on his Twitter page, "The $8.5B secret: 32 factories are making $ in this economy and threatening to shut down unless employees took 18% cut. Why?"

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies
  • NHL Owners Remain Hesitant About Future Olympics Participation

    Some NHL Owners See Players' Participation
    In Olympics As High Risk With Little Reward
    The three Olympics that have seen NHL players participate -- "particularly the two overseas editions -- have soured some NHL owners, who see their employees' participation as high risk with little reward," according to E.J. Hradek of ESPN THE MAGAZINE. The league in every Olympic year since '98 has "shuttered its regular season for roughly two weeks," and the thought has been that Olympic exposure "would lure a big-bucks national TV deal and help the NHL cut a larger swath through the pro sports landscape." But the league "got virtually no bounce" from the '98 Nagano or '06 Turin Games due to the location of the games and the fact both the U.S. and Canada "failed to medal either time." However, even during the '02 Salt Lake City Olympics, when Canada beat the U.S. in the Gold Medal game, things "didn't work out as planned." The TV rating was a "huge 10.7 in the U.S.," but the NHL "saw no carryover" -- the '02 Red Wings-Hurricanes Stanley Cup Final earned just a 3.6 rating. Bruins Owner Jeremy Jacobs said of the Olympics, "As owners, we have to decide if it's worth it. When the games are held outside North America, we can't take advantage of it nearly as much as we'd like." Hradek notes some owners "see no value in suspending league play just as the sports calendar clears." Possible injuries also play a factor; the Senators in '06 lost G Dominik Hasek "for the season after he was hurt playing for the Czech Republic." However, NHL players "absolutely want to chase their Olympic dreams." Meanwhile, "lurking in the background are the impending collective bargaining talks in 2011." If playing in the Olympics is "really so important to the players," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman "may try to trade the participation for something he and the owners want" (ESPN THE MAGAZINE, 1/25 issue).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies
  • AHL President Says League Is Holding Up Well In Tough Economy

    AHL President Says Ticket Revenue
    Across The League Is "About Even"
    AHL President Dave Andrews before last night's All-Star Game in Portland, Maine, said the league is "doing very well" considering the economy, noting "ticket revenue across the league is actually about even," according to the PORTLAND PRESS HERALD. Andrews: "Relative to other professional sports properties ... we're doing extremely well looking at the results we've seen with other sports. On the other side of it, there continue to be challenges. We have 29 teams, and some of them are ahead of last year, some of them are even and some of them are off from the previous year" (PORTLAND PRESS HERALD, 1/19). The league is averaging 4,659 fans per game through the All-Star break, after finishing last season with an average of 5,115 (THE DAILY). Meanwhile, Andrews said that the issue of a salary cap, which the league "currently does not have," is "certain to come up when the league attempts to negotiate a new" CBA with the Professional Hockey Players Association (PHPA). In Pennsylvania, Dan Hickling notes the league's current pact with the PHPA "expires in September." Most AHL players are "paid by the NHL parent club," but those AHL teams that are "owned by local operators, about half of the league's current 29 members, are free to add player salary on their own." And while a few "do on occasion, the rest do not" (Wilkes-Barre CITIZENS VOICE, 1/20).

    AFFILIATE CHANGES: Andrews said that he "expects to reach the 30 team threshold if Edmonton activates its dormant franchise," the Road Runners, next season. He "expects that decision to be made by the end of January" (Wilkes-Barre CITIZENS VOICE, 1/20). The Ducks are the only NHL team without an AHL affiliate, and Andrews said, "We don't know (Anaheim's) plans, but we are working with them on their options next year and hopefully that will work itself out over the next couple of months" (PORTLAND PRESS HERALD, 1/19). Andrews said there are "five or six" expiring affiliation agreements in the AHL, and in Albany, Pete Dougherty reports the AHL Albany River Rats are "in the final year of their affiliation agreement with the Hurricanes, who have openly said they would like to get an AHL team closer to their home base in Raleigh." Charlotte "seems to be where the 'Canes would like to place a team, but they would have to acquire a franchise or convince an existing club to relocate." River Rats Owner Walter Robb has said that he is "trying to sell the Rats, but with the contingency that they stay in Albany" (Albany TIMES UNION, 1/20).

    IN THE STARS: The TIMES UNION's Dougherty reported the AHL All-Star Game's "format of Canada vs. PlanetUSA will disappear" next year. Andrews said that the '11 game, which will "help celebrate the league's 75th anniversary," will adopt the "East-West format first utilized in 1942." No decision has been made on the host city, but Dougherty wrote Hershey, Pennsylvania, is the "best bet" (, 1/19).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies
  • League Notes's Jon Wertheim wrote the impetus behind top players participating in the Hit for Haiti fundraiser Sunday at the Australian Open was simply that, "Something horrible happened on the other side of the world, we recognize that and we want to use our platform to help." There are "no Haitian players" on the ATP World Tour or Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, and there is "no event in Haiti, no Haitian sponsor, no ulterior motive." It was "just a great day for the sport, a great showing from the top players starting with" Roger Federer, who organized the event. It was a "great indication of what can [happen] when tennis cuts through the in-fighting and everyone works for a greater cause" (, 1/18). Meanwhile, THE HOCKEY NEWS' Ken Campbell wrote, "Any display of charity when it comes to the Haitian relief effort is commendable, but is there anyone else out there who thinks the NHL's contribution of just $100,000 is a joke?" The NHL is "donating no more than" 76ers C Samuel Dalembert, which is "embarrassing" (, 1/18).

    Roddick Does Not Feel Forming Union For ATP
    World Tour Players Would Be Right Move Now
    TIMING IS EVERYTHING: Tennis player Andy Roddick said forming a union for ATP World Tour players "would have been the right move ... five years ago," but he does not feel the "time is right to do that." Roddick said that to "force a players' union through now would undermine" ATP World Tour Exec Chair & President Adam Helfant. Roddick: "We've thought about it a lot. We've definitely talked about it." Roddick added the players have not acted on the idea "to be fair to" Helfant, who he believes has "good intentions" (, 1/20).

    STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION:'s Rob Neyer wrote there are "three obvious ways to improve" MLB umpires, and their new five-year deal with the league "would seem to address two of them." One way is to "have the best umpires on the field during the most important games," and another way is to "increase the use of video replay." The third way is to "drop some of the dead weight, and there's still no obvious mechanism for doing that" (, 1/19).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies
Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug