Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 155

Leagues Governing Bodies

     Baseball's labor negotiations resumed yesterday in
Washington.  CNBC's Sue Herera: "The talks were short, lasting
only 90 minutes" ("Market Wrap," CNBC, 10/19).    ESPN's Linda
Cohn: "Nothing has changed.  After not talking for 40 days, both
sides in this labor dispute could only manage to meet for 90
minutes" ("SportsCenter," 10/19).  Most of the session was
devoted to special mediator William Usery briefing
representatives of team owners and striking players "on how he
plans to approach the renewed talks, and setting ground rules for
future get-togethers."  Usery said the next bargaining session
will not come until next week.  He plans to speak to both sides
separately then bring them together "when he feels they can make
progress."  Usery: "The meeting, as far as I'm concerned,
achieved the results I wanted to achieve" (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON
POST, 10/20).  Usery: "The journey is starting today.  We have a
lot of things to overcome, but we have a lot of things to do and
I believe we can" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/19).
     REVIEWS:  It was "a non-substantive ceremonial get-together"
(Bill Madden, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/20).  Richard Ravitch, the
owners' negotiator, "offered hints of change."  Ravitch did not
rule out any "possible steps the owners could take that would
affect players and their ability to sign contracts, but he seemed
to indicate nothing was imminent" (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES,
10/20).  "Remember this is Washington, home of gridlock, not Oz"
(Joel Sherman, N.Y. POST, 10/20).  "If there was animosity, it
was hard to detect. ... But Usery was not selling false optimism"
(Larry Whiteside, BOSTON GLOBE, 10/20).  "The official stance of
each bargaining unit was positive and mildly optimistic, which
also was reminiscent of that first abortive attempt at mediation"
(Peter Schmuck, Baltimore SUN, 10/20).
     LOVE, MARGE:  Reds owner Marge Schott is personally signing
each of the ticket refund checks being sent to fans.  "It's
believed that no other club owners are "affixing their signatures
in this matter."  Requests for Reds refunds -- "and, temporarily,
Schott's autograph" -- must be in by October 31 (Chris Haft,
CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 10/20).

     Officials for the NHL's three CA teams announced their
ticket-refund policies in advance of the league's official
statement on game cancellations.
     ANAHEIM:  Mighty Ducks officials announced that tickets for
single games postponed will be honored on the rescheduled game
date or refunded at the ticket holder's request.  Tickets
purchased for single games that are canceled will be refunded.
The club has asked that fans who wish to obtain refunds wait
until the day after the scheduled game.  Season-ticket or mini-
plan holders may opt for a credit to be used towards the purchase
of '95 playoff tickets, or next year's season tickets or mini-
plans.  Ticket holders who elect the credit option will also
receive a discount on the purchase price of playoff tickets.
Season ticket or mini-plan holders who do not elect the credit
option may request a refund which will be issued monthly as games
are canceled or rescheduled (Mighty Ducks).
     SAN JOSE:  The Sharks were among three NHL teams to offer
interest payments to season-ticket and partial season-ticket
holders as part of a new refund plan.  Ticket holders have three
options:  1) Bypass refunds for canceled games, but collect 6%
interest on the season-ticket account balance until the season
resumes or is canceled, retroactive to October 1.  The interest
can go toward playoff games, '95-96 season tickets, or be
withdrawn once a decision to start or cancel the season is made.
2) Accept refunds for canceled games and earn 3.5% on the
remaining account balance.  3)  Accept refund for full ticket
package, but lose priority position for season tickets.  The
Kings announced similar plans (Darren Sabedra, SAN JOSE MERCURY
NEWS, 10/20).

     The NHL owners "will hold a conference call with major
corporate sponsors next week, bringing them up to date on the
status of negotiations," according to a report in this morning's
TORONTO SUN.  Nike and Anheuser-Busch are the NHL's two top
sponsors (Dave Fuller, TORONTO SUN, 10/20).       FIRST "PRESSURE
POINT"?  The NHL "will announce by tomorrow that it is
restructuring a best-case scenario, 76- or 78-game regular season
schedule per team, thus guaranteeing that players will not
collect full-season, 84-game pay," according to a report in this
morning's N.Y. POST.  While cancellations will "place a burden on
the teams in the form of ticket refunds, NHL management believes
that the players are currently more financially vulnerable"
(Larry Brooks, N.Y. POST, 10/20).
     OATES DRAWS IRE OF FELLOW PLAYERS:  Several Canucks were
"suitably unimpressed with the apparent first wedge" in the union
-- Adam Oates's comments that the owners' proposal "sounds pretty
good."  Canuck Jeff Brown:  "If that's the way Adam feels, it's a
shame.  Maybe he hasn't saved for this and he's trying to take
the rest of the guys down with him.  This is just what the owners
would like to see, but Adam is only one guy in the union and I
don't think it will hurt our cause" (Elliott Pap, VANCOUVER SUN,
10/20).
     MCMULLEN DRAWS IRE OF A FELLOW MANAGER:  Rangers President &
GM Neil Smith said that Rangers VP & General Counsel Kenneth
Munoz telephoned NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to complain about
remarks made by Devils Owner John McMullen in a luncheon meeting
with N.Y. TIMES reporters.  On Tuesday, McMullen compared the
financial standing of the Devils to the Rangers and claimed that
the Rangers were able to spend "between $25 and $27 million" on
their player payroll to win the Cup in '93-94.  Smith would not
give specific figures, but said the Rangers' payroll was under
$20 million.  He called McMullen's comments "objectionable, to
say the very least" ... "very, very inaccurate" ... and "just
out-and-out ridiculous."  The league had no comment on the
dispute (Joe LaPointe, N.Y. TIMES, 10/20).
     THIS IS SOLIDARITY?  While MSG President Dave Checketts
publicly states his unity with fellow owners, he "all but
admitted the Rangers wanted to accept the players' no-strike
pledge and start the season on Oct. 1."  Checketts, on the
booking problems created by the lockout at Madison Square Garden:
"It's not like we can call Barbra Streisand and have her singing
the next night."  Toronto, Montreal, St. Louis and L.A. are also
said to have favored playing over a lockout (Dave Fuller, TORONTO
SUN, 10/20).
     WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO START TALKS?  The two sides have not
met in two weeks, and neither the league nor the union would
predict talks in the near future.  In Toronto, Bob McKenzie
writes, "Only when the losses, real losses, begin to mount is
there any hope of movement in the stalemated negotiations"
(TORONTO STAR, 10/20).  According to a source "with close ties to
NHL management," there is a "good chance" that the U.S.
government will attempt to force the league and the NHLPA to
accept a mediator.  While neither the U.S. nor Canadian
government has "complete authority" because of the game's
international nature, "it would be difficult to reject such a
request because of a public-relations problem alone" (David
Shoalts, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/20).  A league spokesperson
"denied that the services of a mediator had been rejected, as
some sources reported, because he said none had been requested"
(Dave Fay, WASHINGTON TIMES, 10/20).  In New York, Mark Everson
writes, "The first step toward getting talks started again is
clearly the league's responsibility" (N.Y. POST, 10/20).
     DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE:  While NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow
is "fuming" over NHL Senior VP & Director of Hockey Ops Brian
Burke's tour of several North American cities, "his aides say he
has at least contemplated doing the same thing."  Jets Player Rep
Stephane Quintal:  "If the NHL would do less media work and more
negotiating, we'd be better off" (Tim Campbell, Toronto GLOBE &
MAIL, 10/20).  Burke's trip took him to Dallas yesterday.

     In what THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY considers a "must read,"
this morning's USA TODAY provides a detailed look at the finances
of MLB teams. The numbers are projected for a full 1994 season,
and were compiled in conjunction with Martin Stone, owner of the
AAA Phoenix Firebirds.  Here are some highlights:  BEST BOTTOM
LINE -- Rockies, Yankees, Marlins, Orioles, Mets; WORST BOTTOM
LINE -- Royals, Tigers, Astros, Giants, Mariners; HIGHEST
EXPENSES -- Yankees, Braves, Dodgers, Giants, Blue Jays; HIGHEST
REVENUES -- Yankees, Braves, Orioles, Blue Jays, Dodgers; BEST AT
THE GATE -- Blue Jays, Braves, Orioles, Rockies, White Sox; WORST
AT THE GATE -- Padres, Angels, Pirates, Brewers, Mariners;
HIGHEST LOCAL TV/RADIO REVENUE -- Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Cubs,
Braves - LOWEST LOCAL TV/RADIO REVENUE -- Rockies, Twins, Royals,
Brewers, Mariners; HIGHEST PLAYER PAYROLL -- Yankees, Atlanta,
Giants, Blue Jays, Tigers; LOWEST PLAYER PAYROLL -- Padres,
Expos, Marlins, Pirates, Colorado (Hal Bodley, USA TODAY, 10/20).