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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All-Pro leads way to peace, prosperity

During his 16-year Hall of Fame career with the bad-boy Oakland Raiders, Gene Upshaw was known as "The Governor" by his teammates, a man never afraid to speak his mind no matter what the topic. Today, after 15 years as executive director of the NFL Players Association and 13 as a vice president ...

Tags: AFL, Falk Associates Management Enterprises, NBA, NFL, Oakland Raiders

Soldier Field woes mount for Bears

Three consecutive lackluster seasons are beginning to punish the Chicago Bears. For the first time in recent history, the Bears are saddled with empty luxury suites, averaging about 13,000 no-shows per game and facing the possibility of breaking a 180-game consecutive sellout streak next month when ...

Tags: Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, St. Louis Rams

Target nabs new Chicago CART race

The Chicago Motor Speedway at Sportsman's Park landed Target stores as title sponsor for the track's inaugural CART race next year. Target is no stranger to CART, and its added sponsorship of the new speedway is hardly a surprise. Target has sponsored CART's Chip Ganassi Racing team since 1990, ...

Tags: Championship Auto Racing Teams Inc., Chicago Motor Speedway, International Speedway Corp., Owned by Dayton Hudson Corp., Speedway Motorsports Inc.

Agent watchdogs learning how to bite

Though it seems that anyone with ties to a big-name athlete can become an agent, it's not true: Players associations are supposed to filter the agent application process for their members by certifying all agents. The screening process varies among the major sports. While the NFL charges a $1,00 ...

Tags: Chicago Bears, NBA, NCAA, NFL

Tenneco names Detroit race

The Grand Prix of Detroit will have a new title sponsor next year as Tenneco Automotive takes over from ITT Automotive, which is undergoing a major retooling. ITT, which has sponsored the Championship Auto Racing Teams event since 1992, was signed through 2002, but financial pressures forced a ...

Tags: Championship Auto Racing Teams Inc., Formula One, IMG, ITT Automotive, Tenneco Automotive

Flutie's rebirth revives club-seat sales

The reincarnation of quarterback Doug Flutie as an NFL quarterback is paying off handsomely for the Buffalo Bills. Since Flutie took over as starting quarterback, the team has increased its weekly sales of club seats and luxury boxes tenfold. Last year, Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr. reached a new ...

Tags: Buffalo Bills, NFL

Chicago group says it lacks seats for AFL

Financing delays and a shortage of seats are preventing developers of a planned $85 million arena in suburban Chicago from winning an Arena Football League team. An arena plan proposed by the Prospect Development Corp. would have only 11,000 seats available for an Arena Football floor plan; the ...

Tags: AFL, Dallas Stars, IMG, Prospect Development Corp., Southwest Sports Group

Soaring NFL prices raise questions

With the suggested retail price of an NFL franchise these days hovering near $530 million, the cost has become so steep that some experts now say it could take up to two decades before new owners see any real return on their massive investment. It used to be that when you bought an NFL franchise ...

Tags: Bonham Group Inc., Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, MARC Advertising, NBC, NFL, Oakland Raiders, Raymond James Financial, Sportscorp Ltd., St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Time Warner

Houston eyes existing teams

NFL teams seeking lucrative new stadium deals are gaining muscle as a potential ownership group in Houston readily admits it's looking to land a team not only through expansion but via relocation if it loses out in the expansion sweepstakes. "Our primary focus has been on expansion, but if the l ...

Tags: NFL

Houston NFL presentation wins raves, but was it enough?

Houston may have given the best presentation ever in the contest for a new NFL franchise, but the lure of Los Angeles' television market and rich demographics may prove too attractive for the league to turn down. NFL owners last week heard three presentations to bring a franchise to state-of-the ...

Tags: Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Florida Panthers, New England Patriots, NFL, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams, Walt Disney Co.

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