SBD/10/Leagues Governing Bodies

IS IT FUSION OR CON-FUSION? TICKET SALES SLOW FOR MLS OPENER

          While MLS's third season is set to kick off Sunday,
     league officials are "uncertain what to expect," according
     to Frank Dell'Apa of the BOSTON GLOBE.  The expansion Miami
     Fusion will host the DC United in a game televised live on
     ABC, yet the Fusion "have sold only 1,000 season tickets and
     7,000 tickets for the opener."  MLS Commissioner Doug Logan:
     "I'm concerned. I'd prefer to go in with 15,000 advance
     sales.  But we are a week away and we don't know the
     dynamics of the marketplace.  We'll see.  We learned about
     markets in other cities as we went along."  Logan added that
     he has been "disappointed by the New York/New Jersey
     MetroStars' total of 4,000 season tickets."  Logan: "I urged
     all of our teams to get an early start on season-ticket
     sales for this season, and some started last August.  The
     MetroStars waited until December, which was disturbing, but
     some of that had to do with ongoing discussions about Giants
     Stadium."  Dell'Apa calls this "a season for MLS to maintain
     some equilibrium."  While competing against the World Cup in
     France, MLS "should concentrate on increasing attendance in
     questionable markets such as" K.C. and "be certain" the MLS
     Cup in Pasadena on October 25 is a "showpiece event" (BOSTON
     GLOBE, 3/10).  Logan said that the Revolution is tops in
     league season ticket sales with 5,500, while 35,000 season
     tickets have been sold league-wide (USA TODAY, 3/10).
          LOOK, UP ON THE BIG SCREEN: MLS is planning in-stadium
     doubleheaders with a World Cup game shown on the Jumbotron
     via a TV feed before a league game (N.Y. TIMES, 3/10).

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