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Published March 19, 1998
THIS STUFF KIXX: In Philadelphia, the NPSL Kixx lead the league in attendance. The second-year team is averaging 8,751 fans, almost 1,000 more than last season. Kixx Owner Ed Tepper said that the team's popularity increased when Comcast SportsNet broadcast 12 home games: "That (TV) gave us a basis with the fans. ... It's been amazing. We've already had seven games with over 10,000 in attendance. This just goes to show that Saturday night soccer works in Philadelphia" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 3/19). NBA: SI's Jackie MacMullan reports that the Warriors have hired a PR firm "to help them accentuate the positives of their franchise" (SI, 3/23 issue)....In NEW YORK, Jacob Lewis reports that a Nets exec was spotted recently at a Knicks game "attempting to poach some of the celebrities who are treated to courtside tickets" at MSG. Lewis: "One well- known entertainer was offered choice seats at a Nets games and limousine service to and from the Meadowlands, as well as a ball-boy gig for his son." Nets Dir of PR John Mertz said that the team was not trying to "steal" anyone, but conceded that Nets would not be above "providing transportation to and from the game" (NEW YORK, 3/23 issue). NOTES: IHL Las Vegas Thunders part-Owner Ken Stickney denied reports that the team was involved in negotiations with Promotion Management Inc. about a possible move to Green Bay, WI, where PMI is the contractor of a proposed 11,000-seat arena scheduled to open in 2000. Stickney did say that PMI has been dealing with Mandalay Sports Entertainment, the parent company of the Thunder and other minor-league franchises. Stickney, on future plans for him and Mandalay Sports: "Our whole plan is to own 10, 15 teams in different sports, in different cities, at different levels. ... We're trying to look to expand our business" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 3/18)....In N.Y., industry sources said that the Yankees' payroll for the '98 season is an MLB high $72M, slightly more than the Orioles' payroll (N.Y. POST, 3/19). ...ESPN's Bob Ley reported that the NFL will award Cleveland an expansion team, and that NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said that "the approval could come Sunday at the league meetings in Orlando" (ESPN, 3/18)....The MLS Fire have sold "about" 3,000 season tickets (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/19).