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BLIZZARD SEEMS TO BE A POPULAR FORECAST IN NEW ENGLAND

          The ABL Blizzard was profiled by Greg Garber in a
     front-page piece in Sunday's HARTFORD COURANT.  The Blizzard
     have drawn eight of the 11 largest crowds in ABL history
     this season at the Hartford Civic Center.  Garber wrote that
     ticket prices, which average around $11, have "something to
     do" with the team's success, while the success of the UConn
     women's basketball team has been another "significant
     factor."  The team, which has "only" 24 full-time employees,
     saw its season-ticket base in Hartford "swell" from 1,900 to
     5,088.  Garber added that a Blizzard crowd "isn't anything
     like a Whalers or UConn men's crowd."  Garber: "You can buy
     a beer in about 30 seconds, but you'll have to invest some
     time in the line for ice cream sundaes."  ABL CEO Gary
     Cavalli said that women's basketball is most popular with
     "[f]amilies with female children, professional women who are
     single, and senior citizens."  Blizzard GM Pam Batalis added
     that the sport "gives the gay and lesbian community a
     legitimate sports environment."  Batalis: "We fill a very
     large void or niche in the marketplace. ... Seniors, gay and
     lesbian groups, families with girls, never had this outlet
     before" (Greg Garber, HARTFORD COURANT, 1/11). 

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