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NBA & NHL EXHIBITION CITIES MAKE THEIR CASES FOR EXPANSION
Published October 17, 1994
St. Louis' new Kiel Center attracted 14,153 to its opening night NBA exhibition game between the Bullets and Bulls. House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt, who represernts St. Louis: "We need an NBA team here. St. Louis is a major sports town. And a major sports town deserves an NBA team. ... [But] we've got to get football first" (ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH, 10/15)....But St. Louis NBA exhibition promoter Joe Yates said fewer than 10,000 tickets had been sold the day before the game. The game didn't have the "drawing cards" the two previous preseason sellouts had, including a '92 game with Magic Johnson and the Lakers, and last year's game with the Bulls. Yates: "This is not good if you want to put the best face to the NBA," especially as the only sport playing in St. Louis. St. Louis Sports Commission's basketball subcommittee Chair Barry Cervantes said he recently met with NBA Operations VP Rod Thorn to "keep the city's foot in the door in case of expansion or relocation." Perkins and "sports officials unanimously agree" St. Louis has "situated itself as a potential basketball mecca" (ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH, 10/16). DENVER A POTENTIAL HOCKEY HOTBED? Noting the IHL Denver Grizzlies' 16,215 sellout-crowd in McNichols Arena, Boston hockey writer Kevin Paul Dupont suggests it might be time for the Devils to return to CO (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/16).