SBD/5/Franchises

CLIPPERS' STERLING LOOKS TO DIP HIS TOOTSIES IN THE POND

     The Clippers' strong attendance for the three regular season
games they have played at The Pond in Anaheim has increased
speculation that a move to Anaheim may be in the team's future.
The team is the NBA's worst draw, averaging just over 8,000 fans
a game at the Sports Arena in L.A., but they are averaging 17,624
for games at The Pond.  The team recently signed a lease
extension at The Sports Arena, the second oldest facility in the
NBA, but it "includes a clause enabling them to leave at the end
of each season."  A spokesperson for Clippers Owner Donald
Sterling said the team will remain in L.A.  Andy Roeser, Clipper
Exec VP:  "The owner is very, very firm on it.  He's an L.A. guy
and he's absolutely committed to improving in Los Angeles."
Roeser said the team will either stay at a renovated Sports
Arena, or move to a new state-of-the-art venue in L.A..
"Although attendance might increase initially, moving to Anaheim
might not be a sound financial move," since Disney's Mighty
Ducks, the Pond's primary attraction, control the sale of luxury
and club seats and arena advertising revenue at the facility.  It
is unlikely that Disney would be "willing to give up advertising
and ticket revenue to lure the Clippers to The Pond" (Chris
Baker, L.A. TIMES, 1/5).
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