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Tagliabue voted leading sports figure

ST. LOUIS, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue was the most powerful person in sports in 2001, according to an annual poll released Wednesday by The Sporting News.
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Gary Bettman
National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks at a press conference on November 4, 2005 at the MCI Center in Washington, D.C. (UPI Photo/Mark Goldman)
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Gary Bruce Bettman (born June 2, 1952) is the commissioner of the National Hockey League (NHL), a post he has held since February 1, 1993. Previously, Bettman was a senior vice-president and general counsel to the National Basketball Association (NBA). Bettman is a graduate of Cornell University and New York University School of Law.

Under Bettman, the NHL has seen rapid growth of league revenues, from $400 million when he was hired to over $2.2 billion in 2006–07. He also oversaw the expansion the NHL's footprint across the United States, with six new teams added during his tenure, bringing the NHL to 30.

However, Bettman has also been in the middle of controversy during his tenure. He has often been criticized for attempting to "Americanize" the game, and expanding the league into non-traditional hockey markets such as the American South at the expense of the more traditional markets in Canada and the Northern United States. Bettman was also a central figure of two labor stoppages, including the 2004–05 NHL lockout that saw the entire season canceled. These controversies have made him unpopular among fans around the league.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Gary Bettman."
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