SBD/15/Leagues Governing Bodies

VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS CONCLUDE TO SLUGGISH ATTENDANCE

          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).

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