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VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS CONCLUDE TO SLUGGISH ATTENDANCE
Published September 15, 1997
The World Championships of Beach Volleyball concluded Saturday at the UCLA tennis center and southern Californians "are veritable sticks in the sand when it comes to their beach volleyball ... which resulted in more than 1,000 empty seats," according to Mike Penner of the L.A. TIMES. Beach volleyball on tennis courts "was a mixed proposition at best." While Management Plus promoter Leonard Armato said the artificial beach succeeded in "changing perceptions" about the sport in southern CA, FIVB President Ruben Acosta "expressed disappointment at the small crowds at UCLA" and said that if the championships ever return to the L.A. area he would go to Manhattan Beach. Penner: "Attendance became such a sensitive issue among tournament organizers that no official gate totals were released for any of the four dates of competition." Acosta said he was "very concerned" about the size of the crowd and "promised to 'do my best to see that these seats will not be empty at the next World Championships.'" Penner: "Those are scheduled for 1999, possibly in South Africa, possibly in Berlin, but not probably back in Westwood" (L.A. TIMES, 9/14). Preliminary overnights for NBC's coverage on Sunday of the volleyball championship finals were a 2.5/5 (THE DAILY).