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The announced paid attendance for Game 2 of the NLCS in Cincinnati last night was 44,624, which is 8,328 short of a sellout. Reds Owner Marge Schott called the situation "disappointing" and said that Reds fans are "spoiled." Reds GM Jim Bowden said, "We're the ones to blame for the empty seats. That's a result of what we've done to the game" (Jack Wilkinson, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 10/12). Tuesday's Game 1 featured more than 16,000 empty seats. NATIONAL ATTENTION: In New York, Anthony Gargano writes, "There's apathy in the town Pete Rose built" (N.Y. POST, 10/12). In Washington, Tom Boswell reacts to Bowden's statement -- "If they don't want to come see us, we can't make them come": "That isn't true. You can make them want to come. It's called marketing. The Reds don't waste money on such new-fangled notions" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/12). USA TODAY's Tom Weir notes Riverfront "wasn't dressed up" -- with a "bare minimum of bunting" and no playoff logo (USA TODAY, 10/12). USA TODAY's Rick Bozich: "Welcome to the No-Show" (USA TODAY, 10/12). In Philadelphia, Rich Hofmann writes, "You can't help be stunned by the fragility of this sport's underpinnings right now" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 10/11). ESPN's Gary Miller, before last night's game: "There are more people gathered around the batting cage right now than there were in the upper deck in the outfield last night." Barry Larkin: "People are obviously still upset about the strike" ("SportsCenter," 10/11). LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE: USA TODAY's Hal Bodley notes the positive effect the Mariners' run is having on the game (USA TODAY, 10/12). In Milwaukee, Dale Hofmann notes the cancellation of the O.J. interview, which was to compete with ABC's playoff coverage: "Baseball's run of buzzard luck was interrupted" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 10/12).
The WTA Tour announced yesterday that Corel Corp., the Ottawa-based developer of PC graphics and multimedia software, has been signed to a multiyear, multimillion dollar sponsorship deal. Under the agreement, Corel will become worldwide title sponsor of the WTA Tour. The "Corel WTA Tour" debuts November 13-19 at the Tour Championships at Madison Square Garden in New York. WTA Tour CEO Anne Person Worcester: "This is an important date in the history of women's tennis" (WTA Tour). The OTTAWA CITIZEN reports the deal is for three years at $4M a year. For its part, Corel will receive "extensive international on-court exposure -- signs, net posts, patches on players' tops -- and television coverage." In addition, Corel will help the WTA establish a Web site and assist with other promos, including player profiles on CD-ROM. Corel CEO Michael Cowpland: "This will turn Corel into a household name. Right now, we're No. 2 behind Microsoft for software." Cowpland expecially noted the possibilities in Japan and the Far East." The deal also means the likelihood of women's tennis returning to network TV. Cowpland met with officials from Fox on Tuesday and he is "certain" the network will televise all U.S.-based WTA Tour events (Martin Cleary, OTTAWA CITIZEN, 10/12). WHAT NEXT? Corel may "try to enlist the assistance of publishing firms to help market the tour," according to Reynolds and O'Loughlin of INSIDE MEDIA. Corel reportedly sent out a proposal to a "number of computer publishers and magazine companies in late August to gauge their interest in being assigned certain tour marketing rights and amenities in exchange for millions of dollars worth of pages in the magazines" (INSIDE MEDIA, 10/4-18 issue).
While giving Deion Sanders permission to play with the Cowboys, the NFL also declared his contract with the team is a "circumvention of the salary cap," according to today's DALLAS MORNING NEWS. The league has asked the Cowboys to restructure the deal "to significantly inflate the relatively minuscule $2.035 million Sanders would charge to their cap his first three seasons with the team." Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones: "There have probably been 50 contracts structured like this. The only thing different about this contract is that it is bigger than any they have seen." At issue are the low base salaries to be paid to Sanders and the fact that the seven-year deal could be voided to five, allowing the Cowboys to spread the signing bonus over more years. NFL Exec VP Harold Henderson: "The CBA is completely undermined if contracts for superstars are structured with artificial, substandard salaries and outsized bonuses." NFLPA General Counsel Richard Berthelsen: "Our agreement specially states that anything permitted by the collective bargaining agreement cannot be considered circumvention." Jones said any dispute on Sanders' contract would be a matter for the NFLPA to pursue (Ed Werder, DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/12).
With the addition of the Canadian expansion teams, the NBA will expand the number of teams in the annual draft lottery to 13 (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 10/12)....The beginning of the NHL season brings with it a "relaunch" of the league's new marketing programs. NHL Enterprises is readying spots based on the league's new "marketing moniker" -- "the coolest game on earth" (AD AGE, 10/9 issue)....Philadelphia businessman Ed Tepper has applied to become the 15th NPSL franchise. He expects to have a lease agreement soon with the Spectrum to begin play in '96-97, when the 76ers and Flyers move to the adjacent CoreStates Center (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 10/11)....The CFL Board of Governors meets next month to discuss restructuring proposals put forth by U.S. franchise owners. Birmingham Barracudas Owner Art Williams has called for a new name, rule changes and competition for top college players (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/7)....In L.A., Hilary MacGregor profiles Don Nomura, agent to Hideo Nomo who is seeking to deregulate Japanese baseball. Nomura: "The Japanese teams are like car companies here. They are totally closed." Japanese baseball officials refer to Nomura as a "self-promoter" (L.A. TIMES, 10/9)....FIFA has set up a commission to study European proposals to overhaul the organization of soccer, rotate the World Cup and increase income (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 10/10).