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Volume 24 No. 117

Leagues Governing Bodies

          The Daytona 500 "has reclaimed its spot as NASCAR's top
     payday," according to Mittman & Miller of the INDIANAPOLIS
     STAR-NEWS.  Daytona International Speedway President John
     Graham announced yesterday that the '98 Daytona 500 purse
     will top $6M, which exceeds last year's payout of over
     $4.69M.   The Indianapolis 500 "remains No. 1 on the pay
     scale among all motorsports events in the world" with a
     purse of $8.612M (INDIANAPOLIS STAR-NEWS, 11/20).   For more
     news from Daytona regarding the Pepsi 400, see (#6).

          NFL: The NFL set an all-time weekend paid attendance
     record last week when 999,778 fans attended its 15 games. 
     The 15 games averaged 66,652.  The previous weekend paid
     attendance record was set on November 10-11 of last year
     when 964,079 attended 15 games.  Last week, 13 of 15 games
     sold out in advance of the blackout deadline (NFL).
          NOTES: The NLL granted a one-year suspension for the
     Boston Blazers for the '98 season (NLL)....ABL attendance is
     up 19% over its first 59 games in '96.  The league is
     averaging 4,227 fans, up from 3,560 last year.  ABL CEO Gary
     Cavalli said the ABL's goal of 5,000 per game is possible as
     its new markets, Philadelphia and Long Beach, "show some
     growth" (USA TODAY, 11/20).  In Denver, Dylan Tomlinson
     writes that as the ABL "begins its expansion, one can't help
     but wonder if a Nashville franchise can't be too far off,
     especially as the ABL and WNBA prepare for a bitter fight
     over University of Tennessee superstar Chamique Holdsclaw"
     (DENVER POST, 11/20)....In his ESPN SportsZone column, David
     Aldridge writes that "one thing" the NBA could "ask for if
     and when" the CBA is reopened is a "franchise" player
     designation similar to that used in the NFL.  That would
     prevent a player from negotiating with any other club as
     long as his original team offers him the average of the top
     five paid players at his position.  Aldridge: "That would be
     an artificial cap on a team's top-salaried player, which is
     something owners are desperate to get" (SportsZone, 11/20). 

          NPSL Commissioner Steve Paxos said that the soccer
     league, which "took two hits in the summer" when the Toronto
     and Tampa Bay franchises ceased, will "rebound by next
     season," according to Dennis Manolloff of the Cleveland
     PLAIN-DEALER.  Paxos: "I foresee us being back to 15-18
     teams."   Although Paxos declined to name candidates,
     Manolloff wrote that Paxos "would love to get back" to
     Chicago, and San Diego is an area "that might materialize." 
     Paxos is "upbeat" about the NPSL's 13-team league: "I'm the
     most optimistic I've been about this league since I became
     commissioner.  I think the league is very healthy right now.
     ... There are some prospects for a national TV deal starting
     after the first of the year" (PLAIN-DEALER, 11/19).    
          BOOGIE NIGHTS IN IHL: Saints Owner Tom Benson wants to
     bring an IHL team to New Orleans.  IHL officials said
     Wednesday that the league had received an application from
     Benson, along with a $500,000 deposit.  It's Benson's
     "intention to put the team in New Orleans' new downtown
     arena, scheduled to be completed in time for the 1999-2000
     season."  IHL Commissioner Robert Ufer said the league "is
     absolutely and unequivocally committed to bringing a team"
     to New Orleans (AP/ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 11/20). 

          The Corel WTA Tour has taken legal action against the
     "internal coup" that took place within the Players
     Association, according to Robin Finn of the N.Y. TIMES.  A
     temporary restraining order "against the revamped Players
     Association has been obtained by 18 plaintiffs" including
     Martina Hingis, Steffi Graf and Monica Seles.  That means
     "the recently ousted board members who had represented the
     players on the tour board will retain their voting rights
     for this week's meetings."  The board "is expected to review
     five new candidates" for the tour's CEO spot after Anne
     Person Worcester leaves at year's end (N.Y. TIMES, 11/19).