SBD/17/Leagues Governing Bodies

ABL OPENERS HAVE COLUMNISTS CALLING IT READY FOR BIG TIME

          The ABL's San Jose Lasers opened their season on
     Wednesday night and MERCURY NEWS columnist Ann Killion wrote
     that if the "first night is any indication, Year 2 will be
     bigger and better."  Killion: "Bigger building.  Bigger
     crowd.  Bigger media turnout.  Bigger celebrities and more
     of them in the audience."   The announced attendance of
     10,809 "more than doubled" last season's opening crowd. 
     Killion noted the "star-studded crowd" that included 49ers
     Jerry Rice, Terrell Owens, Merton Hanks, and Terry Kirby,
     along with Ronnie Lott, Marty McSorley and Dusty Baker. 
     Killion: "[T]he ABL is still here.  Not just existing, but
     getting bigger" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 10/16).  In S.F.,
     Gwen Knapp, under the header, "ABL Sells Basketball For The
     Real Fan," wrote that the Lasers of "yesteryear sold
     themselves to the women's basketball loyalists, long smitten
     with the college game.  Wednesday's show appealed to the old
     crowd and reached out for general sports fans."  But Knap
     added that the 49ers' at the game were "invited as VIPs ...
     a WNBA trick, slightly altered" (S.F. EXAMINER, 10/16).  
          BLIZZARD: A HARTFORD COURANT editorial states that
     Blizzard fans "are not a beer-drinking crowd.  Ponytailed
     girls dressed in tie-dyed Blizzard shirts bounced up the
     coliseum aisles. ... Mothers with the neighborhood girls in
     tow held up homemade signs, and families ... watched
     affordable and exciting basketball" (HART. COURANT, 10/17). 
 
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