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Volume 24 No. 156

Leagues Governing Bodies

     The ABC News poll, conducted April 19-23, surveyed 1,026adults.  It has a margin of error of +/- 3.5% (ABC).
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOITE SPORT TO WATCH?
NOW
SEPT '94
SEPT '92
FEB '90
JUL '85
Football
  35%
  37%
  38%
  35%
  26%
Basketball
16
13
11
15
10
Baseball
12
16
16
16
21
Other/None
38
34
35
34
43
NOTE: The 9/94 figures are from a Gallup poll which asked
"What is your favorite sport to follow"
ARE YOU A FAN OF PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL?
NOW
FEB '95
OCT '94
AUG '94
MAY '93
Yes
  28%
  37%
  39%
  39%
  39%
No
63
51
52
51
51
Somewhat (vol.)
9
12
9
10
10
INTEREST IN MLB THIS YEAR COMPARED TO '94
More interested
  8%
Same
36%
Less interested
56

     According to a USA TODAY analysis of actual Opening Dayattendance around the major leagues, no team enjoyed a 100%showing.  In fact, four games yesterday drew 60% capacity orless, compared to '94 when only one Opening Day game (Montreal atHouston) drew less than 90% (USA TODAY, 4/27).
ATT.
CAPACITY
PCT.
CHI at CIN
51,033
52,952
96%
SF at ATL
24,091
52,710
46%
LA at FL
18,587
47,226
39% (2nd game)
MTL at PIT
34,841
47,972
73%
NYM at COL
47,228
50,400
94%
PHI at STL
32,573
57,078
57%
HOU at SD
41,961
46,510
90%
MIN at BOS
32,980
33,871
97%
TEX at NYY
50,245
57,545
87%
CHI at MIL
31,426
53,192
59%
OAK at TOR
50,426
50,516
99%
BAL at KC
24,170
40,625
60%
DET at CAL
51,033
64,593
79%
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN: After 8 1/2 hours of "protractedstatements, testimony and cross-examinations" before the OntarioLabour Relations Board, the locked-out umpires and MLBrepresentatives "drew no closer to settling the issue of whetherthe lockout of umpires is even subject to Ontario's anti-scablaw" (James Christie, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 4/27). MORE OPENING DAY QUOTES: Peter Gammons writes, "On a daythat didn't feel like Opening Day, there was a deep, honest senseof beginning, that they now realize they need you" (BOSTON GLOBE,4/27). Acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, in his dual role asBrewers Owner, after visiting fans at pre-game tailgates: "I gota wonderful response. It was exhilarating" (MILWAUKEE JOURNALSENTINEL, 4/27).... Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner, forced towatch the game from Tampa because of health problems, afterseeing other scores: "Look at those Brewers beating up on theWhite Sox. And they talk like they're small market" (N.Y. DAILYNEWS, 4/27)....Reds Owner Marge Schott, asked if her team had any"special" plans for fans: "What do you mean?" (CINCINNATIENQUIRER, 4/27). MLBPA's Don Fehr, on the prospect of playing afull season: "I would say probably without interruption, butthings change so rapidly" (CBS, 4/26).

     After the NBA's Board of Governors meeting yesterday,
Commissioner David Stern said the time was growing short to reach
a labor agreement with the players, according to this morning's
TORONTO STAR.  The league has been operating under a no-strike,
no-lockout deal since October 27.  Although the sides have been
meeting regularly, the union's negotiating team underwent a major
change when Charles Grantham resigned as NBPA Exec Dir.  Former
NBPA General Counsel Simon Gourdine has replaced Grantham, but
Stern said the change would not affect negotiations.  Stern:
"The players are represented by six people.  Five of the six
people remain the same."  Stern would not specify specific issues
that stand in the way of a deal (TORONTO STAR, 4/27).
     MORE NBA BUSINESS: At the Board of Governors meeting,
several items were approved, including the timetable on
completing the Grizzlies and Raptors' expansion agreement. Stern
also acknowledged while the league does not expect to add more
franchises in the near future, the NBA will receive an expansion
application from a New Orleans group led by Saints Owner Tom
Benson.  Stern:  "We think he has a great group and would be a
great owner."  The league will also allow the Clippers to
increase the number of games they play in Anaheim from six to
eight (Mult., 4/27).
     FROM THE PLAYERS:  The NBPA is entering the high school
summer basketball camp business, "which has been dominated in
recent years by sneaker companies."  The union will invite 50-60
of the top rising seniors, juniors and sophomores to Princeton,
NJ, June 20-25, according to Alex English, NBPA Dir of Player
Programs and Bob Dandridge, NBPA Dir of College Programs.  No
college coaches will be allowed to attend.  Besides playing
games, campers will be tutored in how to take the SAT's, and on
substance abuse awareness, college completion, internships,
HIV/AIDS awareness, money management and agent regulation (USA
TODAY, 4/27).