NFL: The league announced that its attendance for the
first quarter of the '97 season has increased almost 2,000
fans per game over '96. Paid attendance for the first 56
games has averaged 62,287 per game compared to 60,462 last
year (NFL)....Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones, on the NFL's TV
Committee, says revenues from the next NFL TV contract
"could double to more than" $8B over four seasons. Jones:
"It wouldn't surprise me if it's in excess of 100%" (USA
TODAY, 9/25)....NFLPA Exec Dir Gene Upshaw's employment
contracts from the union and Players Inc. will pay him
$11.2M over seven years (Mult., 9/24). In Denver, Broncos
DL Alfred Williams: "I don't know why I'm banging my body up
if I can be become an NFL executive. I'm doing the wrong
thing" (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 9/25).
GENERAL: The CISL and the NPSL have agreed to
interleague player loans that would permit indoor players to
play both seasons, June-October for the CISL and November-
April for the NPSL (CISL).
MLB "will eliminate wild-card teams for the playoffs if
the leading realignment plan is approved," according to Hal
Bodley of USA TODAY. The NL would have four four-team
divisions, putting its four champions in the playoffs. The
AL format "is being debated, but the likely structure is two
seven-team divisions" with the two division winners and two
runners-up making the playoffs (USA TODAY, 9/26).
WHAT ABOUT BOB? PART II: In THE SPORTING NEWS, Bob
Costas writes his second installment on MLB, offering
thoughts on realignment, interleague play, the DH and the
future of MLB. Costas: "Baseball's revenues and fan base
are massive. That is not to say each could not be improved.
It is to say they are more than sufficient for the game to
survive if its salary structure and revenue distribution
made any sense" (THE SPORTING NEWS, 9/29 issue).
The WNBA plans to announce next Wednesday that
Washington and Detroit have been chosen as expansion cities,
according to Amy Shipley of the WASHINGTON POST. However,
both markets "must get 3,000 season ticket commitments,
negotiate" local TV and radio deals and allocate $250,000 to
promotional activities by November 3 "to have a chance to
join the current eight-team league by next summer." League
sources said that WNBA President Val Ackerman is leaning
toward assigning former ABL player Nikki McCray to
Washington if it wins a franchise. A league source told
Shipley that Orlando, "long believed" to be an expansion
choice, "was never a leading candidate" (WASHINGTON POST,
9/26). In Detroit, Howes & McCosky report that GM, the
WNBA's official automotive sponsor, will be a "key sponsor"
of the Detroit franchise and "helped cement the WNBA's
decision to award a team to Detroit" (DETROIT NEWS, 9/26).