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Volume 24 No. 113

Leagues Governing Bodies

     Representatives of baseball's owners and players union meet
this afternoon in Washington, DC, for the first time in 40 days,
"this time, and for the first time, under the watchful eye of
legendary mediator," William Usery.  Usery met with a group of
owner reps yesterday and, before this afternoon's talks, he will
meet with a group of players.  Those meetings have two purposes
for Usery.  One, "is to get both sides comfortable with him"; and
the second, "was to distill in his mind the most fundamental
issues in the dispute" (Michael Bamberger, PHILA. INQUIRER,
10/19).  "No one expects any dramatic development to emerge from
the initial stage of the resumption of talks."  At the joint
session, Usery is "expected to work out ground rules for future
bargaining sessions."  Two matters to be decided are the site for
meetings and the "availability of the principals to the news
media" (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 10/19).  "There are rumblings
these days -- especially among agents involved in the talks as
intermediaries -- that the sides may be more receptive to a
settlement now than they have been, and that a deal perhaps could
be struck within the next month or so without the owners
unilaterally imposing a salary-cap" (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST,
10/19).
     PLAYERS' LEAGUE:  ESPN's Keith Olbermann reported that agent
Dick Moss was to hold a news conference today about the new
league he hopes to start.  But it was postponed.  Olbermann
quipped:  "This just in, the new league has just gone on strike"
("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/18).

     In Washington, Josh Young profiles the Champions Tennis
Tour: "Some tennis followers questioned the wisdom of a all-out,
over-35 seniors tour when Jimmy Connors and Ray Benton, a former
ProServ partner, started the Champions Tour last year."  There
are at least 10 tournaments scheduled for '95, up from three in
'93, and the tour "has its name on some expensive items from
fashion designer Nicole Miller."  Miller created 200 ties and
scarfs for the Champions Tour to sell for its charity of choice,
the Pediatric AIDS Foundation.  Miller has designed fashions for
the U.S. Tennis Open, ABC's "Monday Night Football," Major League
Baseball, Harley Davidson and Jose Cuervo.  Young notes, "As for
the Champions Tour, it's mostly about service to the sponsors.
Almost as important as playing hard on the tennis court is
chatting up a CEO at a cocktail party."  In fact, Citibank
sponsored a recent stop in Westchester, NY, "mainly to entertain
corporate clients" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 10/19).

     NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, two NHL VPs and Devils Owner
John McMullen held a luncheon interview with reporters from the
NEW YORK TIMES.  Bettman promised an announcement soon on
potential game cancellation and addressed the current state of
negotiations.  Bettman said 40-50 games were necessary for a
season to be considered legitimate, but that the warm weather's
effect on some rinks would prevent games after June.  On the
stall in negotiations, Bettman said he thought the players "might
be waiting to see 'if maybe the owners are going to blink.'"  In
defending the owners' proposal, McMullen compared teams owned by
individuals to those owned by corporations (namely the Blues and
Rangers):  "If you have no money of your own invested in it, and
your job depends on your ability to put a winning team out there,
as long as your boss doesn't cut you off, you just keep spending"
(Joe LaPointe, N.Y. TIMES, 10/19).
     TOUGH TIMES?  In Toronto, Bob McKenzie reports that
unhappiness with the Times' coverage was the reason for the
meeting:  "Seems the league hasn't been impressed by the tone of
coverage by Times reporters and columnists during the owners'
lockout" (TORONTO STAR, 10/19).
     REFUNDS:  The NHL planned to announce its ticket-refund
policy around November 1, but that has been pushed up -- "perhaps
today" (Len Hochberg, WASHINGTON POST, 10/19).  The NHL clubs
have received the first draft of a proposed policy with an
announcement expected after suggestions return from the teams.
Single-game purchasers are likely to be offered the option of a
refund or credit; season-ticket holders would receive refunds on
a monthly basis on games that have been officially canceled.
Clubs could also offer season-ticket holders credit toward the
'95 playoffs or the '94-95 season (Tony Gallagher, Vancouver
PROVINCE, 10/19).  At an average of 10,000 season tickets per
team (estimated at $30 each), and a going rate of 3.2%, Dave
Luecking computes that NHL owners have earned $519,715 in
interest to date on season-ticket revenue (ST. LOUIS POST-
DISPATCH, 10/19).
     LOOK WHO'S NOT TALKING:  Bettman and NHLPA Exec Dir Bob
Goodenow "cannot even decide who will call whom" (WASHINGTON
POST, 10/19).  NHLPA spokesperson Steve McAllister:  "There's
nothing scheduled.  Bob is here and we're waiting to hear
something" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/19).
     ALL EARS:  The Whalers held a fan forum with about 350
season-ticket holders and corporate backers. Whalers Owner Peter
Karmanos:  "I would be happy to return a quarter of the season
ticket money, with interest, and maybe the players will start to
believe we're really serious about it" (Viv Bernstein, HARTFORD
COURANT, 10/19).  The Sharks plan a similar session today (SAN
JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 10/19).
     THE BOB & BURKE SHOW:  NHL Senior VP & Dir of Hockey
Operations Brian Burke took his tour of NHL cities to Southern
California, while NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow "returned fire"
from Burke's Monday Vancouver stop.  Goodenow refutes the claim
that the NHL wants to help small-market teams:  "They want to
control expenses and they want the players to take the brunt of
it" (Jack Keating, Vancouver PROVINCE, 10/19).  Burke, on the
lull:  "If this goes on to a serious length it will start to look
silly.  Our phone numbers work too, you know.  Nobody on their
side has a broken finger" (Helene Elliott, L.A. TIMES, 10/19).
     SOMETHING BRUIN' IN BOSTON?  Bruins President & GM Harry
Sinden sent a letter to his players this week explaining the
league's position.  Bruins center Adam Oates:  "I'm not a lawyer,
but it (owners' proposal) sounds good on paper" (Dave Fuller,
TORONTO SUN, 10/19).  But Bruins defenseman Don Sweeney takes
issue with the owners' promise of guaranteed salaries, arguing
that while team levels may remain stable, players on the lower
end of the salary scale will be hurt (Stephen Harris, BOSTON
HERALD, 10/19).
     YAWN?  CNBC's Sue Herera:  "The hockey season is still
delayed but Americans don't seem to care."  A CNBC/Opinion
Research Corporation poll of 1,000 adult fans found:  78% do not
care that the NHL season has not started; 83% do not care if NHL
season is cancelled completely; 81% believe pro athletes are
overpaid; 61% say there should be a salary cap in the NHL
("Market Wrap," CNBC, 10/18).
     NEXT BEST THING?  Attendance is up for the Ontario Hockey
League -- one of Canada's three major junior hockey leagues -- at
a rate of 557 more fans per game.  The boost  is attributed to
the NHL lockout and the absence of post-season Blue Jays "hoopla"
for the first time in three years.  The OHL averaged 2,767/game
in '93-94 (TORONTO SUN, 10/19).

     In Washington, David Aldridge reports on Cowboys Owner Jerry
Jones' efforts to change the NFL's marketing rules.  Jones wants
teams to be able to keep more of the profits generated from the
marketing of their individual team logos.  Last year, the Cowboys
generated 28% of all revenues from NFL Properties.  Jones "wants
what he says is an incentive-based structure."  For example, if
the Cowboys logo pulls in 30% of all licensing money, Jones think
the Cowboys should be allowed to keep money above the 1/28th cut
they currently get.  But Jones "says he's not looking to take
someone else's 1/28th for himself, only to be allowed to make
bigger deals outside the current agreements that increase the
size of the licensing pie."  Aldridge reports opposition to
Jones' plan is "strong.  Real strong."  Browns owner Art Modell
thinks Jones' ultimate goal is for a Cowboys TV Network "much
like the deal Notre Dame has with NBC," but Aldridge notes that
that "won't fly in the share-and-share alike NFL."  Modell:  "We
are 28 fat-cat Republicans that sit around the league meetings
and vote socialist" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/19).

     In an interview with USA TODAY, NBPA President Buck Williams
discussed lockout rumors: "We're waiting on a ruling on our
appeal of the court decision that upheld the draft, salary cap
and free agency. (Then) we'll have an insight into what direction
we're headed.  Hopefully, when we do sit down we'll work out an
agreement quickly."  On playing the season without a new CBA:
"Historically, these things have taken more than a year, and
we're only three or four months into this scenario, so there's no
reason to be alarmed" (USA TODAY, 10/19).  But Pistons guard Joe
Dumars is not so optimistic.  Dumars:  "I got a letter a few days
ago laying out what hasn't been happening.  It made me think a
strike might be a possibility.  Before, I thought we would get
this worked out.  But the letter made me think it might get
ridiculous" (Dave Fuller, TORONTO SUN, 10/19).

     Already an "enormous success" in terms of attendance and
U.S. TV ratings, the '94 World Cup "formalized its financial
success yesterday, when the U.S. organizers announced that the
event will generate a surplus of more than $60 million."  The
figure is "well above" what organizers had predicted.  The
surplus funds will go to the U.S. Soccer Federation Foundation, a
non-profit corporation set up to promote soccer in the U.S.
However, the foundation will not give any money to the MLS, the
proposed outdoor pro soccer league being led by World Cup
Organizing Committee chief Alan Rothenberg.  In fact, the MLS
owes the World Cup committee for a $5M loan (Steve Berkowitz,
WASHINGTON POST, 10/19).  "In an era of declining sports
marketing dollars and increasing costs of mounting international
sporting events, the surplus is considered by some to be
remarkable" (Julie Cart, L.A. TIMES, 10/19).
     BONUSES:  Peter Ueberroth, who chaired the World Cup's
Compensation Committee, announced that all the full-time
employees of World Cup would receive salary bonuses.  Rothenberg
reportedly will receive a $3M bonus as well as another $4M as
part of a deferred-compensation package for 'back pay due.'"  The
board was not in complete agreement on the issue of Rothenberg's
compensation (L.A. TIMES, 10/19).