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SBD/10/Leagues Governing Bodies
ALL EYES ON OPRYLAND FOR NEXT ABL PLAYGROUND
Published March 10, 1998
ABL player contracts, along with league and coaching hires, have "delayed" the league's expansion announcement, according to Bruce Berlet of the HARTFORD COURANT. But "it appears Nashville will be the ABL's 10th franchise," as ABL CEO Gary Cavalli visited the city twice "the past two weeks," and it "apparently" beat Tampa and St. Louis in the "expansion sweepstakes." Cavalli: "We've done a lot of careful analysis and it looks like we're going to Nashville." In other news, Cavalli said the league's third season "could begin" two weeks later (around November 1) to avoid the World Series and have "less time opposite" the NFL. Talks are also "continuing" with national TV networks about coverage next season (HARTFORD COURANT, 3/10). LEAGUE FINALS: The Long Beach StingRays and Columbus Quest are currently playing in the league finals, and Game One of the best-of-five drew a sellout crowd of 4,005 in Long Beach (DISPATCH, 3/9). After watching the game, columnist Bill Dwyre called the ABL "the best ticket bargain in pro sports at the moment" with pro athletes "actually playing hard all the time" (L.A. TIMES, 3/9). In S.F., Glenn Dickey wrote the ABL "is doing fine" in year two and said of the two leagues, the ABL is "the better alternative. It's run in the best interests of women's basketball, while the WNBA has a condescending, paternalistic approach. And the ABL has a better game" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 3/6).