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Volume 24 No. 112

Leagues Governing Bodies

          The City of Miami has entered into a use agreement with
     the All American Football League (AAFL) to play in the
     Orange Bowl starting in March of '99.  The AAFL signed a
     five-year agreement with a renewal option (City of Miami). 
     In Miami, Barry Jackson reports the league "won't pay any
     rent, but the city will retain a $1 ticket surcharge and
     collect parking and concession revenues."  Miami Mayor Joe
     Carollo said that the city "expects to make $740,000 each
     year if the team averages 18,000 fans.  The city will also
     sell corporate naming rights to the Orange Bowl and keep
     revenues."  The AAFL has also signed a lease for a Dallas
     team to play at the Cotton Bowl (MIAMI HERALD, 10/15).

          MLB: While MLB owners are scheduled to hold a
     conference call on realignment today, the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL
     SENTINEL is reporting that it is "likely another extension"
     on a final decision will be announced today.  A source told
     Tom Haudricourt that Acting Commissioner Bud Selig is
     "expected to announce a two-week extension to allow" the
     Royals "more time" to decide if they want to switch to the
     NL.  If the Royals don't switch, the Brewers "will move to
     the NL in their place" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 10/15).
          NBA: In N.Y., gossip columnists Rush & Molloy report
     that NBA Commissioner David Stern and Michael Jordan's
     agent, David Falk, "have begun talks about Jordan's farewell
     tour."  NBA Dir of Sports Media Relations Chris Brienza:
     "Any conjecture about a farewell tour may be getting ahead
     of ourselves."  Falk, through a spokesperson, also called
     plans for a farewell tour "off base" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS,
     10/15).  With the Bulls in Paris for the McDonald's
     Championships, L'Equipe, the French sports journal, had 22
     pages devoted to coverage of the Bulls under the header,
     "The Jordan Frenzy" (Lacy Banks, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 10/15).
     In Chicago, Sam Smith writes the Bulls came to Paris "and
     Paris yawned" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/15)  In N.Y., Lisa Olson
     reports that McDonald's in France has placed a "Chicago
     Bulls Meal" on their menu (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/15).

          A group attempting to get an NFL franchise for L.A.
     "presented a financial plan" for a new Coliseum to members
     of the league's stadium committee yesterday in Washington,
     DC, according to Leonard Shapiro of the WASHINGTON POST.  It
     included a return to pro football to L.A. by 2001.  NHL
     Kings Owner and NFL group leader Ed Roski made the
     presentation along with L.A. City Councilmember Mark Ridley-
     Thomas.  Roski's plan calls for a Coliseum that would seat
     68,000 "for most football games," but could expand to 80,000
     for other events.  Roski also asked for a March '98 deadline
     from the league so "we can both have a direction of where
     we're going" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/15).  In L.A., T.J. Simers
     reports the group "left feeling pretty good. ... But behind
     closed doors, the NFL talked about dissolving the 13-month
     exclusive arrangement" with the L.A. group.  Such a move
     "would appear to open the door" for Hollywood Park, South
     Park and Rupert Murdoch.  NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue
     said that the "matter of exclusivity was only being
     discussed at this time."  But Simers reports that "since the
     subject came up only minutes after the new Coliseum group's
     attempt to dazzle league executives, it was a clear
     indication that the NFL is not ready to break ground in
     Exposition Park" (T.J. Simers, L.A. TIMES, 10/15).
          A COMBO MEAL PLEASE: CNN/SI's Peter King reported last
     night that NFL owners received word "from the league that
     they would really like to get a combination deal going here
     -- a deal to extend the collective bargaining agreement
     through at least the year 2007 and also a deal to extend the
     television contract, which is being negotiated right now for
     the next four years, for as long as eight years [through
     2005]."  King added the NFL wants to "put themselves in
     position to have labor peace and television rights peace for
     the next eight years" which would put them "far above every
     other league" and give "them the strength ... to plan for
     the long-term NFL future" ("CNN/SI," CNN, 10/14).
          BIG GATE BY THE LAKE: In Akron, David Adams reports 
     that Browns Trust President William Futterer made a "brief"
     presentation to the owners.  He reported the team has
     secured applications for more than 52,000 season tickets. 
     Of the stadium's 116 suites, 85 have been sold, including
     all of the $125,000-a-year suites.  NFL Dir of Club
     Administration Joe Ellis said that a new team in Cleveland
     would immediately be "among the top third of the league's
     most lucrative teams."  The league will likely decide if
     Cleveland will receive an expansion or existing team in
     March "or later" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 10/15).  Cowboys
     Owner Jerry Jones said yesterday "the prudent thing to do is
     to have teams that are not economically viable be allowed to
     move. ... Do we want to water down the league with more
     teams? ... I don't think so" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/15).
          COLD RAIN AND SNOW: Tagliabue said that the NFL will
     "put together guidelines to determine whether it's feasible
     to play a Super Bowl in an open-air, northern stadium."  
     Tagliabue said DC, Baltimore and Seattle have expressed
     interest in holding the game.  In Baltimore, Vito Stellino
     writes Tagliabue "was noncommittal on his opinion of playing
     the Super Bowl at a cold-weather site," and Stellino adds
     that it's "possible ... coming up with guidelines is simply
     a polite way to kill the idea" (Baltimore SUN, 10/15).
          FOR EVERY SEASON, TURN, TURN, TURN:  Owners also
     discussed starting the '98 regular season a week later to
     avoid Labor Day weekend and reducing the preseason from four
     to three games, according to Nick Pugliese of the TAMPA
     TRIBUNE.  Starting the season a week later would eliminate
     the off-week during the Super Bowl (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 10/15).

          In the second week of the St. Louis Convention and
     Visitor Commission's (CVC) $130M antitrust suit against the
     NFL, CVC lawyers "tried to prove that the league has acted
     arbitrarily and inconsistently in charging relocation fees,"
     according to William Lhotka of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. 
     On Tuesday, the jury watched a videotape interview of former
     NFL Exec VP/General Counsel Jay Moyer explaining the
     league's process in determining fees for previously
     relocated teams. He testified that the Raiders and Colts did
     not have to pay a fee when they relocated during the early
     80s, but that the NFL levied a fee against Cardinals Owner
     Bill Bidwill when he moved from St. Louis to Phoenix in '88. 
     Lhotka adds that Bidwill's fee was paid "more than three
     years after the league approved the move," and the $7.5M he
     paid "was the result of negotiations with the NFL, not from
     a specific formula the league adopted."  CVC attorneys
     argued that the next NFL relocation fee assessed against the
     Rams was for $46M, $29M up front and $17M over 15 years. 
     The CVC "says the league conspired to force St. Louis into
     paying too much to get the Rams."  During the trial, the NFL
     has stated that it is "blameless and has accused the Rams of
     greediness" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/15).