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Volume 24 No. 115

Leagues Governing Bodies

     When the baseball labor negotiations resume tomorrow in
Washington, DC, striking players "expect the same old salary cap
with a new name" (Mike Shalin, BOSTON HERALD, 11/16).  Owners
will likely propose a new plan that will include a "luxury tax"
to be imposed when a team exceeds a certain payroll.  But "anyone
deliriously optimistic" about the new plan "hasn't been paying
attention to the negotiations in the month and a half hockey
lockout.  The NHL has a taxing problem, and baseball is about to
get one."  The MLBPA is unlikely to accept the proposal,
believing it would work as a salary cap and "inhibit" teams from
"spending the kind of money on salaries that would trigger such
taxes."  Red Sox CEO John Harrington, who heads up the owners'
negotiating team, said "a tax concept can look like a salary cap,
and any tax plan is meant to put some controls on labor cost"
(Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 11/16).  MLBPA General Counsel Gene
Orza "warned against optimism," saying there are "tax programs
that are worse than a salary cap and tax programs that are
better" (Tim Harper, TORONTO STAR, 11/16).  Braves Player Rep
Tom Glavine said a luxury tax "would be nothing to get excited
about," adding "it would be another word for a salary cap" (I.J.
Rosenberg, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/16).     LET'S GET IT DONE:
"Owners are working with a renewed vigor, afraid that if they
don't move quickly, they will lose next season as well."  One
owner, on the lack of income:  "We gambled the fans would love us
come hell or high water and it looks like we are losing that bet"
(Sherman & Miner, N.Y. POST, 11/16).  Braves President Stan
Kasten said he plans to be in DC "for an extended time":  "I did
not even attempt to make a return reservation" (I.J. Rosenberg,
ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/16).
     PAYROLL FIGURES RELEASED:  Team payroll figures were
released by MLB's Player Relations Committee.  The total amount
paid to players would have gone up less than 3% if a full season
had been played.  The Yankees had the highest payroll in the
league at $47,512,342, but only paid out around $34M because of
the strike.  The Padres had the lowest league payroll, paying out
only $9.8M on over $13M of salaries (I.J. Rosenberg, ATLANTA
CONSTITUTION, 11/16).

     "It becomes more likely by the hour that there will be no
new collective bargaining agreement and the 1994-95 season will
not happen," writes Kevin Paul Dupont in this morning's BOSTON
GLOBE.  According to a league source, the 26 GM's met yesterday
and "reconfirmed their stance" in favor of player salary
restraints.  NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Exec Dir Bob
Goodenow will meet again tomorrow or Friday (BOSTON GLOBE,
11/16).  While there was talk that the owners' counterproposal,
which Bettman is expected to offer to the union today, will
"slash" the NHL's luxury tax in half -- from 122% to 60% -- one
union source maintains that "if the owners insist on a salary cap
there won't be a season" (Dave Fuller, TORONTO SUN, 11/16).
     ONLY 30 SHOPPING DAYS UNTIL DEADLINE:  The NHL is discussing
the idea of imposing a December 15 deadline on reaching a
collective bargaining agreement.  If a deal isn't reached by that
date, the season would be canceled.  The idea was put forward
yesterday by Oilers President & GM Glen Sather (David Shoalts,
Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 11/16).  Sather:  "I'm still a firm
believer that Bob Goodenow is a kind of guy who is not going to
make a deal until there's a concrete day and time that says if a
deal isn't done now, there's not going to be a season" (TORONTO
SUN, 11/16).
     LEAGUE FACES FRONT-OFFICE LAYOFFS:  The NHL announced plans
to lay off 14 full-time and six part-time employees effective
December 1, if there's no settlement.  Remaining employees,
including Bettman, will take a 10% pay cut.  Those making less
than $30,000 a year, will take a 5% cut (Mult., 11/16).  One
league source "said some of the laid-off personnel would not be
rehired once -- or if -- a deal is struck with the players"
(Kevin Paul Dupont, BOSTON GLOBE, 11/16).  Goodenow has refused
pay during the lockout, but he stands to make as much as $600,000
in '95, almost double his present salary (Dave Fuller, TORONTO
SUN, 11/16).
     THE ALLEGED ROOKIE CAP:  NHL Senior VP & General Counsel
Jeff Pash brought GM's up to date on the union's latest proposal,
"which had been said to include a form of a rookie salary cap."
The NHLPA proposal only includes an offer to forego arbitration
for a player's first contract and elimination of compensation and
equalization clauses for free agents under 24 or with less than
five years experience (David Shoalts, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL,
11/16).
     FROM THE GM'S:  Lightning GM Phil Esposito: "If you're going
to be a union -- and I was in the union for 19 years   -- then
you've got to have an agreement, or don't be a stinking union"
("SportsCenter," ESPN, 11/15).  Islanders GM Don Maloney:
"Everybody is totally supportive of what Gary and the league is
trying to accomplish" (Jim Smith, N.Y. NEWSDAY, 11/16).  Whalers
GM Jim Rutherford:  "There's nothing here at this point to
indicate that we're going to have a season" (Jeff Jacobs,
HARTFORD COURANT, 11/16).  Canadiens GM Serge Savard:  "For the
first time, I am scared the season won't be played" (Toronto
GLOBE & MAIL, 11/16).
     FINAL COURSE:  Bettman on his dinner Monday night with
Goodenow:  "The food was excellent" (Jim Smith, N.Y. NEWSDAY,
11/16)....David Shoalts estimates that, to this point, the league
has lost $166.3M in revenue (not counting the TV deal with Fox),
the players have lost $85.4M in salaries, and each team has lost
an average of $719,200 in operating income (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL,
11/16)....San Jose Mayor Susan Hammer is "pessimistic" that the
'95 All-Star Game will be played.  San Jose Metropolitan Chamber
of Commerce President Steve Tedesco estimates that the overall
economic impact for the city could have been in the $40-50M range
(Ann Killion, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 11/16).

     "The life may be dribbling out of a nascent pro soccer
league," according to John Helyar in today's WALL STREET JOURNAL.
MLS will announce today that a delayed start-up in spring '96,
though officials plan to "try to surround the setback with signs
of progress," such as new franchise cities and financial backers
(WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/16).
     THE GOOD NEWS:  The MLS will announce which franchises will
join the seven charter cities (L.A., Washington, NYC/NJ, San
Jose, Columbus, Boston, and Long Island) out of a pool that
includes Chicago, Indianapolis, Denver, Seattle, Kansas City, and
Tampa.  Investors for these new teams will include NFL Chiefs
owner Lamar Hunt and Metromedia Chair John Kluge.  It "remains
uncertain" whether the MLS will have ten or twelve teams (Jere
Longman, N.Y. TIMES, 11/16).  Other investors will include API
Soccer, a division of a U.K.-based sports marketing Sponsorship
Group headed by Kevin Payne, and a group of L.A. businesspersons,
L.A. Soccer Partners.  Most investors will contribute to the
league and operate a designated team.  However, there will be
investors who won't run teams, including MLS founder Alan
Rothenberg's investment group, investment banking firm Donaldson
Lufkin Jenrette, and investment banker Paul Tierney.  A "major"
Japanese corporation is also "likely" to invest (Roscoe Nance,
USA TODAY, 11/16).
     WORLD CUP BACKLASH:  Reasons for the league's delay include
"outsize ambition, flawed structure and alienated sponsors,"
according to the WALL STREET JOURNAL.  MLS is short of its $100M
capital goal.  Rothenberg, who also organized last summer's World
Cup, "envisioned piggybacking" on its success, but the tournament
has "done as much harm as good."  Richard Groff, commissioner of
the rival American Professional Soccer League (APSL), says
Rothenberg and MLS officials were trying to run the World Cup and
MLS at the same time:  "I think basically they ran out of time."
Rothenberg's handling of the World Cup led to "infighting" within
the U.S. Soccer Federation and his "effort to parlay the World
Cup's success into a lucrative business for himself" has caused
further "resentment."  But more damaging could be the "wedge"
driven between potential MLS sponsors and league organizers after
the World Cup.  MasterCard Int'l wound up suing the World Cup
over $75M exclusive card rights, and Anheuser-Busch's "was
furious" with Rothenberg's ban on beer sales at World Cup venues.
IEG Sponsorship Report Editor Lesa Ukman said World Cup USA had
an "Olympic organizing committee attitude, where you sell for as
much as you can because you're just a one-time entity."
Potential MLS sponsors are also "turned off" by a $2M category
sponsorship and the fact the league won't have the int'l appeal
of the World Cup (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/16).

     NBA Player Reps voted on Monday in Chicago to reject the
first "written proposal by the NBA to forge a new collective
bargaining agreement."  Hawks Player Rep Jon Koncak said the
proposal dealt with a salary cap, free agency, and licensing,
adding that there was no rookie salary cap, but that there were
"provisions to close both the one-year and out option and balloon
payments."  Koncak: "We are not interested in doing that."
Koncak did say that "some headway" was made in distribution of
money from licensing and merchandise saying that the proposal was
"a starting point" (Peter May, BOSTON GLOBE, 11/16).  "The
players are growing comfortable with the fact that the salary cap
is here to stay," according to Steve Bulpett of the BOSTON
HERALD.  While the players work on a rookie wage scale and more
revenue from merchandise under a new CBA, a "strong current of
reality runs through" the NBPA.  Bulls Player Rep Steve Kerr:
"The Players Association originally took the position that we
want to eliminate the cap. I am sure the French want the
Louisiana Purchase back, too.  The owners aren't going to go for
that" (BOSTON HERALD, 11/15).