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08/19/2004 1:16 PM ET
Commissioner Selig's contract extended through 2009
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PHILADELPHIA -- By a unanimous vote, Major League Baseball club owners rewarded Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig for a job well done by extending his contract three years, through 2009, it was announced here today.

Selig has led the industry since 1992. He was named the Chairman of the Major League Executive Council on September 9, 1992 and served as interim Commissioner until his election as Commissioner on July 9, 1998. This is his second three-year extension, the first came on November 27, 2001.

"I am pleased to have this opportunity to continue as the chief caretaker of our great game," Commissioner Selig said. "I believe we have made great progress in a number of important fronts in recent years, particularly in the areas of competitive balance, labor, international play and the marketing of the game."

Fred Wilpon, the chairman and chief executive officer of the New York Mets, placed the Commissioner's extension in nomination before the ownership group.

Wilpon said: "I have been in baseball nearly 25 years and, in that time, I have never known anyone more dedicated and more devoted to the game than Bud Selig. He has done a fantastic job as Commissioner, and I believe that everyone - club personnel, players, and fans - recognizes his contributions and his value to the sport. Baseball is in great shape today because of Buddy and I am delighted that he has agreed to stay on as our Commissioner through 2009."

During Commissioner Selig's tenure gross revenues have increased from $1.6 billion to $4.1 billion, an increase of 156 percent, franchise values have increased dramatically, and 15 new ballparks have been built, the greatest construction boom in the game's history.

Perhaps the most significant moment of Selig's Commissionership to date came on August 30, 2002 when Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association successfully concluded negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement without a work stoppage for the first time in more than 30 years.

Two years later, it is evident the 2002 Collective Bargaining Agreement has dramatically changed the economics of the game. Meaningful and significant revenue sharing among the clubs and a competitive balance tax, provided for in the new Basic Agreement, have resulted in the stabilization of players salaries and greater competitive balance on the field of play. For example, in 2003, there were 17 teams competing for playoffs positions entering the final month of the season. The debt service rule, also embodied in the 2002 agreement, has significantly improved the financial stability of the Clubs.

Commissioner Selig said: "Our television ratings are up both nationally and locally, and we may very well set an all-time attendance record this season. Those are important indicators that prove what I have long believed - that baseball today is more popular than it has ever been and that we are in the midst of a truly golden era."

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