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Volume 24 No. 179

Leagues Governing Bodies

     Philadelphia beat out Boston and was awarded the 1998 U.S.
Figure Staking Championships.  The event will be held one month
before the Winter Games in Nagano, and will determine the US
Olympic Figure Skating team.  The event will be held at the
CoreStates Spectrum (Sally Pollack, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 10/9).
Boston lost by only one vote, 20-19.  Larry Moulter, President of
the New Boston Garden Corp., said two things worked against them:
Providence has the event in '95, and Philadelphia's recent
rejections by the USFSA (Kevin Paul Dupont, BOSTON GLOBE, 10/9).
     ALSO:  Minneapolis is the U.S.'s bid city for the '98 World
Figure Skating Championships.  Nashville will be the site of the
'97 U.S. Championships (THE DAILY).

     READ THE FINE PRINT:  This morning's CHICAGO TRIBUNE reports
that "several lawyers for both sides predicted" MLB owners "will
be unable to sell any major-league teams until there is a new
collective bargaining agreement."  Agent Tom Reich:  "Anyone who
buys a team until there's an agreement is a moron unless there's
an indemnification."  Acting Commissioner Bud Selig doesn't think
"any sales will be delayed."  Selig:  "Each deal will have to be
worked out differently."  The Pirates, A's, and Padres are
currently on the block (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/11).
     "OWNERS BENCH RAVITCH":  According to Bill Madden of the
N.Y. DAILY NEWS, Rockies Owner Jerry McMorris  -- who "has always
been classified as a moderate among owners" and "viewed as the
one with the most experience in dealing with labor unions" -- may
be the new point man for the owners when negotiations resume.
Madden:  "One thing that has become clear in the two-month hiatus
since the players walked:  Dick Ravitch is no longer batting
cleanup for management" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/9/94).
     THE LEGAL LINE-UP:  In Sunday's NEW YORK TIMES, Murray Chass
writes that MLB owners "face a legal wilderness of decisions that
history says they will mess up."  For anyone who has lost track
of the decisions that the owners must make, here's a run-down: do
owners "impose their 45-day freeze on player transactions?"; if
owners impose the freeze, "do they unilaterally suspend the
provision in the expired basic agreement that provides for triple
damages if clubs are caught colluding again?"; do owners "declare
an impasse" in the negotiations for a new labor agreement?; if
the owners declare an impasse, do they impose a salary cap?; if
the owners decide to declare an impasse and implement the salary
cap, "do they first make another proposal, changing the economics
to conform to the revenues from the strike-shattered season?"; do
owners appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court for a ruling on last
week's decision by the Florida State Supreme Court? (N.Y. TIMES,
10/9).
     BACK TO THE BASICS:  In Sunday's DALLAS MORNING NEWS,
Richard Alm provides a comprehensive review of the state of the
industry.  "Baseball is resilient.  In its 125 years as a
business, it has survived player revolts, rival leagues, the
Black Sox scandal and the rise of the National Football League,
National Basketball Association and other rivals for sports fans
dollars.  Whether it can weather this latest crisis will depend
on how successful the sport is in finding a way to put a good
product on the market and win back its customers" (DALLAS MORNING
NEWS, 10/9).
     MEANWHILE, IN ARLINGTON: The FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM
recently conducted a mail-in survey of 3,200 people who purchased
seat bonds for the Rangers.  On a 16% response rate, the survey
found that about 25% of respondents were very dissatisfied, 14%
enough to not renew next year.  The other 11% "griped that they
were renewing only because the felt locked into the tickets by
their seat bonds."  80% of all respondents said they would renew
season tickets -- "of those, 69 percent gave unqualified yeses."
STAR-TELEGRAM Dir of Research Gary Kromer noted it wasn't a
"scientific survey," but said:  "It's a good indicator of the
depth of feeling among these particular fans" (STAR-TELEGRAM,
10/9).

     CFL Players Association President Dan Ferrone says that even
though the league's collective bargaining agreement expires June
1, 1995 the "CFL could not afford a strike or lockout.  It would
be too damaging."  Issues such as the "possible elimination of
the Canadian-American ratio of players on each team and changes
to the $2.5M spending cap must be settled," but Ferrone doesn't
foresee a work stoppage (Jim Morris, CANADIAN PRESS, 10/8).

     The NHLPA offered its counterproposal to the owners
yesterday claiming that it addresses the owners' concerns about
revenue allocation.  The NHLPA's proposal:  Impose graduated tax
rates on the player payrolls of the top 16 revenue clubs,
increasing them to a maximum of 7%; Reduce the proposed tax on
gate receipts from 5.5% to 3%; Guarantee a revenue pool of $20M
from the above for small-market clubs (Mult., 10/11).  In New
York, Murray Chass cites a source familiar with the players'
proposal who says 55% of the revenue-sharing pool would come from
payrolls and 45% from gate receipts (N.Y. TIMES, 10/11).  NHLPA
VP Kelly Miller:  "If you would have asked me before if we would
have accepted tax rates -- no way" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/11).
NHLPA President Mike Gartner claims the proposal makes
"significant strides in meeting the concerns that the league has
stated to us" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/10).
     WILL THE OWNERS JUMP?  The players "have extended an olive
branch to the owners," but NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman "is
likely to respond with a weed whacker" (Lance Hornby, TORONTO
SUN, 10/11).  For the NHLPA, "it was a substantial leap."  For
example, the players' proposal would impose a tax on the Blues of
between $1.7-2M, but the league plan would tax the Blues $7M.
"The players, in other words, still aren't buying the idea that a
payroll tax should be so onerous that it forces teams to axe
salaries in order to avoid paying the tax" (Damien Cox, TORONTO
STAR, 10/11).  CNN's Nick Charles: "It looks like the players did
some significant bending" ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 10/10).  ESPN's
Al Morganti: "Boy, it's a long way philosophically from .... the
luxury tax that the NHL had proposed.  However, it could give you
some common ground" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/10).  The players'
proposal "is certainly worth a look."  But the owners "want a
punitive-enough tax to virtually guarantee salaries won't
continue to rise.  It's the old cap vs. drag argument" (Bob
McKenzie, TORONTO STAR, 10/11).
     WHAT TO EXPECT:  "Initial reaction to the NHLPA moves was
pessimistic on the part of management" (Dave Fay, WASHINGTON
TIMES, 10/11).  Bettman said that players "would have to do more
than jiggle the numbers of their previous offers.  And that seems
to be what the players have done" (Gary Miles, PHILADELPHIA
INQUIRER, 10/11).  NHL owners "aren't expected to look upon the
offer with favourable eyes." CP's Alan Adams cites sources who
say one of the last things Bettman told Goodenow when talks broke
off last week "was not to come back with an offer to increase the
tax on salaries and gate receipts" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/11).
Bettman "did not seem overwhelmed" (Len Hochberg, WASHINGTON
POST, 10/11).  Bruins President & GM Harry Sinden:  "You could
say there is a sense of optimism simply because we did sit down
and have a meeting" (BOSTON HERALD, 10/11).  One management
source:  "At least they have recognized our problem and the need
for a tax system" (NEWSDAY, 10/11).
     SAVE THE SEASON?  In Toronto, Bob McKenzie reports a few NHL
Governors support a "longshot" plan to accept the players' no-
strike pledge on one condition:  "no new player contracts can be
signed between now and the end of the season" (TORONTO STAR,
10/11).  The "most pertinent question" heading into today's NHL
Governors meeting is whether Bettman will identify the players'
proposal as "meaningful progress" (Sandra McKee, Baltimore SUN,
10/11).  Bettman "has one out pitch:  He has never said that
there will be no games without a signed deal" (Kevin Paul Dupont,
BOSTON GLOBE, 10/11).  If the deal is rejected, Bettman is likely
to shift the restart date to November 1 (Lance Hornby, TORONTO
SUN, 10/11).  A rejection by the owners could endanger a "serious
chunk" of the season, since the players "aren't likely to move
much farther on their side" (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 10/11).
Whalers GM Jim Rutherford:  "In order to start on the 15th, the
decision is going to have to be made (today)" (HARTFORD COURANT,
10/11).

     In Boston, Jackie MacMullan credits NBA Commissioner David
Stern with a "public relations coup" for declaring he has no
plans for a lockout:  "'Easy Dave' can't lose.  If the players
strike, he'll 'aw shucks' his way into our living room every
night, pleading for his players to return for the good of the
game.  If they don't strike, he'll continue to hammer out what he
wants privately, while publicly the game continue, the revenue
keeps pouring in, and the NBA is held up again as the model in
professional sports" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/9).  But one Western
Conference owner says:  "There's a real good chance the NBA will
be in the same situation as hockey."  Another owner:  "I don't
see us opening the season without a deal."  Mitch Lawrence writes
that the "problem" for Stern is that he has to deal with NBA Exec
Dir Charles Grantham -- the "X factor, and a seemingly dangerous
one at that." Lawrence adds, "Some people who have been around
Grantham get the distinct impression that he wants to carve out
his place in history, as the man who forced the NBA to change its
system" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/9).  On ESPN's "Sports Reporters,"
Mike Lupica noted the contracts going to NBA 1st round picks:
"When these sorts of dollars and these sorts of figures begin to
dominate the coverage of your sport, you better believe that your
sport is headed towards trouble.  And I believe the [NBA] is. ...
Stern's always very lucky.  There seems to be some crisis all the
time in another sport, so he can look like a hero when he really
is not" (ESPN, 10/9).