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BLIZZARD SEEMS TO BE A POPULAR FORECAST IN NEW ENGLAND
Published January 12, 1998
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).