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SBD/17/Leagues Governing Bodies
ABL OPENERS HAVE COLUMNISTS CALLING IT READY FOR BIG TIME
Published October 17, 1997
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).