SBD/31/Franchises

THE MAGIC'S BACK AT THE FORUM, AND AROUND THE LEAGUE

     The Lakers, currently 4th from the bottom in NBA attendance,
anticipate that Magic Johnson's return will boost sales at the
box office.  According to this morning's L.A. TIMES, last night's
game against the Warriors sold out in about five hours Monday,
with fans buying the remaining 2,300 tickets.  Friday's game
against the Bulls was previously sold out, but L.A. ticket
brokers are reporting prices of $100-1,000.  In Denver, where
Johnson will play his first road game on February 6, the game is
"heading toward a sellout."  Lakers' broadcast partner KCAL, also
expects a ratings boost.  Laker telecasts now average a 5 rating,
but were as high as 10 before Johnson retired, and averaged 7.4
when he coached the club's final 16 games in '93-94 (Maryann
Hudson, L.A. TIMES, 1/31).  Last night's showing for S.F.'s KPIX,
which holds Warriors' rights, was a 9.9 rating and a 15 share
(Nielsen Sports Marketing).
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