About The Author

John Lombardo

Staff writer John Lombardo covers basketball and the Arena Football League.

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‘It’s more of a true minor league now’

04 / 21 / 14

The NBA-owned D-League, once an eight-team operation playing solely out of the Southeast, is now a coast-to-coast business marked by sharply rising franchise values and enough demand from NBA teams to suggest further expansion could be ahead. The D-League played its 2013-14 season with 17 teams. ...

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Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies

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Pats' guarantees face legislative resistance

Some leading Connecticut lawmakers are pushing New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft to make concessions on $17.5 million in premium seating guarantees if he wants the state to build him a $375 million stadium in Hartford. After a week of public hearings, private lobbying and a Patriots public ...

Tags: New England Patriots

Skills contest signs 2 sponsors

Organizers of an inaugural college football skills challenge planned during Super Bowl week have signed two presenting sponsors and are nearing a title sponsorship package with a computer company. Officials at Chicago-based Intersport Inc. said that Volvo and National Car Rental Inc. have agreed ...

Tags: Fox, Intersport, National Car Rental, NFL

Browns gear grabs green

The Cleveland Browns don't have a head coach or any players, but merchandise sales for the new franchise are already well ahead of a host of other NFL teams as Browns officials scramble to put a new organization together. Even bigger things may be on the way. The team is expected to unveil a ne ...

Tags: Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Edmonton Oilers, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers, Pro Player Inc., Reebok, San Francisco 49ers, Tennessee Titans

New six-team football league hopes to hit it big with smaller pay ...

A fledgling football league will try to do what so far has proved impossible: create a financially viable outdoor professional football league other than the NFL. Officials at the Framingham, Mass.-based Regional Football League say they think their efforts have attracted enough interest — ...

Tags: NFL

Bears legend in running for AFL franchise

Former Chicago Bears great Walter Payton is expected to bid on an arena football franchise by mid-December, with the team eyeing the Rosemont Horizon in Chicago's suburbs as its new home. Officials at Walter Payton Enterprises Inc. said Payton will be the lead investor in the effort to win an Ar ...

Tags: AFL, Chicago Bears, NFL, Prospect Development Corp., Walter Payton Enterprises Inc.

Guarantees cloud Pats' Conn. deal

The political lovefest between New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Connecticut lawmakers may be cooling some as legislators sift through details of Hartford's sweetheart stadium deal laden with generous guarantees, but legislators expect the plan will ultimately win approval. In addition ...

Tags: New England Patriots, NFL, Qualcomm, San Diego Chargers, St. Louis Rams

Pats' deal latest big-city challenge

The New England Patriots' proposed move to Hartford, Conn., doesn't change the team's name, but the deal underscores a dilemma for the league: How can the NFL keep franchises in major markets when smaller cities are aggressively pursuing teams with deals owners can't resist? "It is an issue that ...

Tags: Arizona Cardinals, Bonham Group Inc., Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, MARC Advertising, New England Patriots, NFL, Philadelphia Eagles, Sportscorp Ltd., St. Louis Cardinals

Television deal latest big play for TearDrop

Don't tell TearDrop Golf Co. officials that the golf market is in turmoil. On the heels of turnaround third-quarter earnings, the Morton Grove, Ill.-based golf equipment maker struck a deal Nov. 17 with The Golf Channel to televise the fledgling TearDrop Professional Golf Tour beginning next spr ...

Tags: Golf Channel, Minnesota Lynx, Pinnacle Enterprises Inc., RAM Golf Co., TearDrop Golf Co., Tommy Armour Golf Co.

Chicago arena group looks to soccer league

Stiffed-armed by the Arena Football League, developers of a proposed 12,000-seat arena in suburban Chicago are turning to the National Professional Soccer League for an expansion franchise. Last month, officials at Prospect Development Corp. bid unsuccessfully for an Arena Football League franch ...

Tags: AFL, IMG, NPSL, Prospect Development Corp.

profile: gene upshaw

Title: Executive director. Organization: National Football League Players Association. Age: 53. Hometown: Robstown, Texas. Resides: Great Falls, Va. Education: Texas A&I University, 1968. Family: Wife, Terri; sons Eugene Jr., Justin and Daniel. 1997 salary: $1.6 million. Bac ...

Tags: AFL, Falk Associates Management Enterprises, NFL, Oakland Raiders, Players Inc.

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