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Volume 24 No. 156

Leagues Governing Bodies

     NBA Commissioner David Stern said last night that the league
and the NBPA "are far apart with no sign" that a new CBA is near.
Asked about main point of contention, Stern replied, "There's
really only one.  The last proposal by the players reflected the
belief that the owners should not make any money."  Stern said he
would "have a hard time selling that to the owners."  At the
beginning of this season the NBA and NBPA agreed on a no-strike,
no lockout deal through this year, even though the CBA had
expired.  That agreement is nearing an end.  Stern:  "Things are
far apart. .... There's nothing concrete that would lead me to
believe we're close to an agreement" (AP/ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,
5/25).

     Through the first month of MLB's shortened season,
attendance and national TV ratings have both taken a hit
following the work stoppage.  According to AP, attendance is down
25%, TV ratings have dipped even further, and baseball teams will
probably lose at least $300M collectively.  On attendance, team
officials say that group sales, which "usually takes place in the
offseason, were hurt most by the strike."  Attendance is down for
25 of the 28 teams, with only the Red Sox, Tigers, and Mets
showing increases.  ESPN's first 14 games had a 1.5 cable rating,
down 32% from the first 14 games of '94 (Ronald Blum,
AP/WASHINGTON TIMES, 5/25).  MLB's marketing effort is examined
in USA TODAY.  UMass Prof. of Sports Studies Bill Sutton says
during the strike, players "were viewed as businessman.  It is
going to take a while to get over that" (USA TODAY, 5/25).
     UNION CHALLENGES:  In New York, Murray Chass reports on Rob
Mahay and Ron Rightnowar, the first players on the MLBPA's "so-
called 'scab list'" to play in the majors. Chass: "Does the union
accept them as members?  Does it have to accept them as members?
Donald Fehr, the union leader, isn't saying."  Chass sees the
decision as "critical for the union's credibility and integrity"
(N.Y. TIMES, 5/25).

     The selection of Pusan, South Korea, as the site for the
2002 Asian Games "is likely to work in favor of Japan's bid for
the World Cup finals in the same year," according to Japanese
sports sources cited by KYODO NEWS.  Pusan beat out Kaohsiung,
Taiwan, for the Asian Games in a vote Tuesday by the Olympic
Council of Asia.  South Korea and Japan are the finalists to host
the 2002 World Cup, the first to be held in Asia.  Japanese
sources note, "since the Asian Games are a big athletic
extravaganza, South Korea's financial burden would be staggering
if the World Cup was held in the same country in the same year."
Other sources quote anonymous FIFA officials who say the
organization "is of the view that no major world event should be
held in a country where a big continental meet is slated" (KYODO
NEWS, 5/24).

     The NFL owners yesterday approved a plan to build a new
$200M football stadium in Hollywood Park in what was called a
"huge step toward keeping the Raiders in Los Angeles," according
to Steve Springer in today's L.A. TIMES.  Owners voted 27-1, with
the Jets voting against, and the Redskins and Seahawks abstaining
(L.A. TIMES, 5/25).
     THE PLAN:  1) The new stadium will receive at least one
Super Bowl, in 2000, with a second game possible in 2005 (Will
McDonough, BOSTON GLOBE, 5/25).  2) The Raiders are obligated to
play the next two seasons (while waiting for the construction to
be completed) in the L.A. area.  3) The Raiders will be allowed
to market Super Bowl tickets equal to the number of club seats
already sold, up to a maximum of 10,000.  3) The second NFL
tenant will be required to pay Raiders Owner Al Davis half the
amount he puts into the stadium project.  4) Hollywood Park will
be required to shut down its gambling operations on the days of
the two Inglewood Super Bowls.  Hollywood Park racetracks
officials "do not object" to the shutdown before and during
games, but "are expected to oppose a continued shutdown" once
games are over (L.A. TIMES, 5/25).  5) Clubs agree to waive their
visiting team shares of premium club seat revenue at the new
stadium for up to 12 years, an additional $50M or more (Greg
Cote, MIAMI HERALD, 5/25).  In S.F., Glenn Dickey writes, "Some
details have already been negotiated.  Davis would get a small
percentage of concessions, parking and advertising and the
revenue from the luxury boxes.  Hollywood Park would get the
revenue from club seating, in return for which the Raiders would
play rent-free" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/25).
     STRINGS ATTACHED?  In Washington, Dave Sell writes "there
are strings" to the second Super Bowl.  The plan states that a
second Super Bowl will be awarded after the league acquires,
through negotiation, an option to place a second team in the new
stadium for the '98 season.  The stadium would not lose that
second Super Bowl if the league "declined to exercise that
option" (WASHINGTON POST, 5/25).  In L.A., Ron Rapaport writes to
Davis:  "Can you be sure -- can you be absolutely sure -- that
the new stadium will sell out any more often than the Coliseum
does?  That is the one nasty uncertainty about running a sports
franchise in L.A., isn't it, Al?" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 5/25).
     THE NEW TEAM:  In San Francisco, Glenn Dickey reports that
the "earliest" a second team would be in L.A. would be for the
'98 season.  But league sources think it is more likely a second
team would not be added "for at least another five seasons" (S.F.
CHRONICLE, 5/25).  The second L.A. area team, however, "doesn't
necessarily" have to play at Hollywood Park -- with Anaheim
Stadium also possible (Michele Himmelberg, ORANGE COUNTY
REGISTER, 5/25).
     DEADLINE FOR DAVIS:  The league imposed a deadline of June 1
for the Raiders and Hollywood Park to close the deal.  NFL
Commissioner Paul Tagliabue appointed a three-man committee
consisting of 49ers President Carmen Policy, Broncos Owner Pat
Bowlen, and Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson to assist the Raiders
and Hollywood Park "in consummating the deal" (Thomas George,
N.Y. TIMES, 5/25).
Many reports note that despite having the Hollywood Park option,
Davis is still uncertain on what he will do.  Davis:  "All it
[represents] is another option.  Put it in the mix and stir it up
with everything else we've looked at" (Len Pasquarelli, ATLANTA
CONSTITUTION, 5/25).  Davis:  "Under ideal conditions, we could
be (at Hollywood Park) in a week, or in another venue in a week.
It's all in place."  In Orange County, Michelle Himmelberg
writes, "In other words, Davis is ready to make a decision, the
paperwork is ready for him to sign" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER,
5/25).
     LEAGUE REAX:  In New York, Thomas George notes "an
uncomfortable feeling among some owners that the Raiders would be
playing in a complex that will have horse racing and casino
venues adjacent to the stadium (N.Y. TIMES, 5/25).  Dolphins
VP/GM Eddie Jones:  "We traded inventory for stability" (MIAMI
HERALD, 5/25).  Chiefs Owner Lamar Hunt:  "We've already lost the
Rams in Los Angeles, we can't to lose the Raiders.  It is just
too important to the health of the league" (John Helyar, WALL
STREET JOURNAL, 5/25).
     ALWAYS OPTIMISTIC:  In Oakland, city and Coliseum reps were
"unmoved" by Wednesday's developments.  East Bay officials said
Davis told them Wednesday, after the meetings, "not to write him
off."  Oakland Deputy City Manager:  "As long as he hasn't made a
decision, we have a legitimate chance" (Poole & Li, OAKLAND
TRIBUNE, 5/25).  Coliseum Board President George Vukasin:  "Our
proposal is very much on the table, probably better than the one
at Hollywood Park" (Rick DelVecchio, S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/25).
     ATLANTA CHANCES FOR SUPER BOWL HURT?  In Atlanta, Len
Pasquarelli reports that the Super Bowls awarded to Hollywood
Park may hurt the city's chances of a Super Bowl in 2000.
Atlanta was one of six cities vying for the 2000 game.  Atlanta
Sports Council Exec Dir Robert Morgan:  "We're disappointed at
the possibility of not being able to bid on the 2000 game, but
hope to be considered for future ones" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,
5/25).  Boston's megaplex vote put them in the mix for the 2001
game.  The league plans to address future Super Bowl sites at its
fall meeting in Chicago in October (Nick Pugliese, TAMPA TRIBUNE,
5/25).

     The NHL Board of Governors will discuss details for
expansion at a board meeting June 21, according to this morning's
TORONTO STAR.  The 26 governors are expected to vote to add at
least two teams, and possibly four, beginning with the '96-97
season.  Atlanta, Portland, Seattle, and Phoenix are "considered
to be the frontrunners, depending on the fate" of the Jets and
the Nordiques.  The STAR reports that "unlike the last expansion
when Anaheim and Florida were simply added, the next expansion
will probably involve a bidding process" (Cox & Hunter, TORONTO
STAR, 5/25).  In addition, the NHL's 84-game schedule has been
reduced to 82 games for next season, reports Bob McKenzie in
Toronto.  The majority of governors went with the pre-vote
recommendation of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to eliminate
games 83 and 84, now played as neutral site games.  "In lieu of
the revenue previously generated by the games, a lump sum
payments will be made to the NHLPA" (TORONTO STAR, 5/25).

     Aside from settling the Raiders situation, the NFL owners
also established a revenue-sharing system to help struggling
teams.  According to Will McDonough in today's BOSTON GLOBE, a
pool will be established so "financially strapped teams can apply
for money from a league committee."  The money will come from the
$20M the Rams are paying to move to St. Louis and from PSL's sold
in Jacksonville, St. Louis and Carolina (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/25).
Also, a portion of teams' gross from club seats will be pooled.
The NFL expects to generate a $72M pool over a four-year period
and distribute up to $3M per season to recipient clubs (John
Helyar, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/25).  The Lions, one of the NFL's
"least-profitable teams" due to their unfavorable lease at the
Pontiac Superdome, stand to gain $50,000-$3M under the new plan.
Lions COO Chuck Schmidt called the team's share a "drop in the
bucket," but said it was indication the league is doing "whatever
it can to keep the revenue gap from widening" (DETROIT FREE
PRESS, 5/25).