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Tagliabue adds five to revenue committee

BUFFALO, N.Y. (April 25, 2006) -- NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue added five teams to a committee that will help determine how a new revenue-sharing plan -- important to small-market franchises' economic stability -- will work under the league's new labor deal.

Tagliabue appointed Houston, Green Bay, Cleveland, Detroit and St. Louis to the committee in a memo issued around the NFL, league spokesman Greg Aiello said. Aiello said two more teams, representing the league's lower-revenue franchises, will be added soon to complete the eight-member committee.

Buffalo was the first team appointed last week after Bills owner Ralph Wilson complained the new collective bargaining agreement reached last month, which added a new revenue sharing model, threatens the financial viability of his and other small-market teams.

Wilson's concerns had Sen. Charles Schumer (D, N.Y.) meet last week with Tagliabue, who expressed reassurances that the new labor deal would not hurt or force small-market teams to relocate.

Schumer was pleased with the additional teams selected to the committee.

"It appears that the overall makeup of the committee will be sympathetic to small markets," Schumer said in an e-mail sent to The Associated Press. "This is another big step in our crusade to keep the Bills in Buffalo."

The committee will be split evenly among the league's higher- and lower-revenue teams. Houston, Green Bay, Cleveland and Detroit each had revenue above the league average over the last few seasons. Buffalo and St. Louis represent the bottom fourth revenue-generating franchises.

The committee will recommend how supplemental revenue-sharing money will be distributed. The recommendations must be passed by at least 24 of the league's 32 owners. If not approved by owners, the commissioner has the authority to make the final determination.

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