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Volume 24 No. 158
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          IRL: On SPEEDNET, Bill Koenig writes that for IRL team
     owners, the "hunt continues for sponsors."  While there has
     been an increase of sponsorship spending on the league
     level, teams are "hoping to see more spending at their
     level."  IEG estimates that IRL will draw $101M in
     sponsorships this year, not including Pep Boys' title
     sponsorship deal and Pepsi's deal as the Official Soft Drink
     of the IRL and IMS (Bill Koenig, SPEEDNET, 5/12).  IRL
     Founder Tony George, at the Indy 500 trials: "The league is
     coming into its own.  We're right where we should be.  We
     have had a record number of (Indy 500) entries because our
     equipment is affordable" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 5/11).   
          COULD NAFTA HELP HOCKEY? Toronto trade lawyer Barry
     Appleton is scheduled to appear today before the House of
     Commons subcommittee studying sport in Canada and will argue
     that NAFTA can be applied to assist Canadian NHL franchises
     (OTTAWA CITIZEN, 5/12).  But Dexter Bishop, spokesperson for
     Canada's Dept. of Foreign Affairs and Int'l Trade, said
     "NAFTA looks after goods, services and investment, not
     sports" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 5/12)....The ECHL has awarded
     its '99 All-Star Game and Skills Competition to the MS Sea
     Wolves.  The events will be held January 12 and January 13
     at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum (ECHL). 
          GIANTS EXEC DISPUTES BORAS: MLB Giants Assistant GM Ned
     Colletti yesterday denied that he had made any monetary
     "offer or pledge" to J.D. Drew before last June's amateur
     draft.  Drew's agent, Scott Boras, has testified that the
     Giants were one of the teams that had contacted him and made
     overtures about Drew (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 5/12).