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Published November 20, 1997
NFL: The NFL set an all-time weekend paid attendance record last week when 999,778 fans attended its 15 games. The 15 games averaged 66,652. The previous weekend paid attendance record was set on November 10-11 of last year when 964,079 attended 15 games. Last week, 13 of 15 games sold out in advance of the blackout deadline (NFL). NOTES: The NLL granted a one-year suspension for the Boston Blazers for the '98 season (NLL)....ABL attendance is up 19% over its first 59 games in '96. The league is averaging 4,227 fans, up from 3,560 last year. ABL CEO Gary Cavalli said the ABL's goal of 5,000 per game is possible as its new markets, Philadelphia and Long Beach, "show some growth" (USA TODAY, 11/20). In Denver, Dylan Tomlinson writes that as the ABL "begins its expansion, one can't help but wonder if a Nashville franchise can't be too far off, especially as the ABL and WNBA prepare for a bitter fight over University of Tennessee superstar Chamique Holdsclaw" (DENVER POST, 11/20)....In his ESPN SportsZone column, David Aldridge writes that "one thing" the NBA could "ask for if and when" the CBA is reopened is a "franchise" player designation similar to that used in the NFL. That would prevent a player from negotiating with any other club as long as his original team offers him the average of the top five paid players at his position. Aldridge: "That would be an artificial cap on a team's top-salaried player, which is something owners are desperate to get" (SportsZone, 11/20).