IS ART MODELL NOT THE MOST POPULAR GUY W/NFL OWNERS TODAY?
The NFL's new eight-year, $17.6B TV package was
unanimously approved yesterday by league owners "who also
were told to expect the player salary cap" to increase from
$41.5M in '97 to between $53M to $55M for the '98 season,
according to Leonard Shapiro of the WASHINGTON POST. The
final cap amount "will be determined" when the league and
its TV partners "settle on the payment schedule" for the
first year of the deal, which "should be completed by the
end of next week." Owners were "clearly" in a "buoyant
mood" in discussing the TV deal. Afterward, Raiders Owner
Al Davis said, "In the last contract, as soon as it was
over, ABC and ESPN were sold to Disney for [$19.6B]. CBS
was sold for [$6.5B]. One of the outstanding features of
that difference was CBS not having the NFL. When you see
what Fox did (with football), we built that network"
(WASHINGTON POST, 1/23). Ravens Owner Art Modell: "Why
should I be happy? We are just going to give it all to the
players, anyway." In Boston, Will McDonough notes the
increasing salary cap and adds, "It didn't take long to
realize that Modell was on the money" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/23).
ART HAS HIS: Modell admitted yesterday that the TV deal
will make it tougher for cities to attain public funding for
facility financing: "I think it'll be a long time before you
see a publicly subsidized stadium again, even though most of
the money goes to the players. I wish I would say it's not
so, but that's the case" (Vito Stellino, Balt. SUN, 1/23).
Modell, on Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen, who is lobbying for
public help on a new stadium: "Nobody can stand up now and
say they need a new stadium and those new revenues in order
to stay competitive. ... I think Pat has a good, sound
position on needing a new stadium, but I don't know how
politically inviting it will be for the city fathers to
support it. With this kind of money coming in, that's going
to be an awfully tough sell." In Denver, Bob Kravitz: "The
sound you just heard? That's Bowlen's jaw dropping to the
pavement" (Bob Kravitz, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 1/23).
TALKS OFF: In N.Y., Mike Freeman reports that the NFL
and NFLPA "have reached an impasse" on a CBA extension and
"both sides feel a pact won't be reached soon." NFLPA Exec
Dir Gene Upshaw: "Talks have broken off" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/23).
NOTES: One of the NFL's int'l exhibition games will be
played in Vancouver this year, on August 15, between the
49ers and Seahawks (TORONTO SUN, 1/23)....The forecast for
Sunday in San Diego is for mostly clear skies with a high
near 70 (Mult., 1/23)....Bill Walsh contributes an op-ed in
the N.Y. TIMES on the hiring of minority coaches in the NFL,
writing that litigation will not solve the "problems of
hiring in the N.F.L." Walsh: "Those with the most influence
have not necessarily been active addressing the social
undercurrent. ... The reason is that most owners do not
regularly come into contact with African-Americans other
than to talk with them after a game" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/23).