SBD/1/Leagues Governing Bodies

BASEBALL'S BACK: WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ON THE FANS' REACTION

     "OUTSIDE THE LINES":  ESPN presented a special "Outside the
Lines" on baseball's return.  In the first segment, Bob Ley
reported from Fenway Park, where the Red Sox have put a lower-
budget team on the field and are beginning to plot out strategies
for a new stadium.  Mark Malone reported from small-market
Pittsburgh, where the Pirates and Expos played, two teams with
similar finances.  Pirates President Mark Sauer:  "Under the
current economic system in Major League Baseball, this franchise
cannot compete."  Other reports:  The saga of Andy Van Slyke;
MLB's "Welcome to the Show" ad campaign and efforts to improve
fan relations; the umps' lockout; Denver's new park; and how
replacement players can expect to be treated as time goes on
(ESPN, 4/28).
     ATTENDANCE BY THE NUMBERS:  ESPN's Keith Olbermann reported
that attendance for second-day ballgames was down 34.7%, the
average drop was 10,598.  Olbermann also noted that AA Jackson
and AAA Iowa outdrew the Pirates Thursday ("SportsCenter," ESPN,
4/28).  CNN's Mark Morgan reported AL attendance for home openers
was down 20.2%, and the NL down 17.3% (not including Colorado)
("Sports Tonight," 4/29).

AVERAGE FIRST WEEKEND ATTENDANCE:
YEAR
AVERAGE
1990
18,719 (lockout year)
1991
28,514
1992
30,334
1993
32,323
1994
28,035
1995
25,464 ("Baseball Tonight," 4/30).
ACTING MLB COMMISSIONER BUD SELIG: "Attendance was down. But it was down in various places for certain reasons. There was less time to plan. I am not suggesting there isn't a problem we shouldn't worry about. We have to work hard as an industry, and on a local basis. It's going to be a while before we know. I wouldn't let one or two days establish a trend" (N.Y. NEWSDAY, 4/30). BASEBALL WEEKLY EDITOR PAUL WHITE: "When it comes to putting their dollars down and spending, that's where [the fans] see their chance" ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 4/29). GIANTS OWNER PETER MAGOWAN, at the team's home opener (22,914 in attendance): "Everybody has been very, very friendly. But, remember, these are our best fans out here now" (SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 4/29). MLB PUBLIC RELATIONS MANAGER JIM SMALL: "To quote Mark Twain, reports of baseball's demise are just wrong" (Baltimore SUN, 4/30). CHICAGO TRIBUNE'S BOB VERDI, reporting that all is well at Wrigley Field: "The national pastime can struggle through out our land, but official pardons are always negotiable at Clark and Addison" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 4/29). NEW YORK TIMES' HARVEY ARATON: "There can be no true measure of how much damage the strike has done until sometime this summer. ... [But] let them see this as a wake-up call" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/29). RANGERS PRESIDENT TOM SCHIEFFER: "This was an earthquake on the 6-7 range. This was not a little tremor" (FORT WORTH STAR- TELEGRAM, 4/29). ESPN'S PETER GAMMONS: "I think it's great that fans have said to both the owners and the players, 'A pox on you, you have to come back to us.' ... It's about time that baseball start running itself as a small business and reached out just like a mom and pop company and started bringing its fans back" ("Sunday SportsDay," 4/30). BRAVES DIR OF TICKET SALES PAUL ADAMS: "By June 1st, we'll be back to drawing 45,000-plus on a regular basis" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 4/29). CUBS PRESIDENT ANDY MACPHAIL: "It's a combination of apathy and aggravation. And in some ways apathy is worse than aggravation" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 4/30). NBC NEWS' "MOMENT OF THE WEEK": When fans at Shea threw dollar bills on the field Friday night (NBC, 4/29).
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