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PHILADELPHIA STORY: ADVANTA CHAMPIONSHIPS STRUGGLES AT GATE

          Total attendance for the Advanta Championships men's
     tennis tournament at Philadelphia's CoreStates Center was
     30,420, "down almost 9,000 from last year," according to
     Bill Fleischman of the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS.  IMG is in
     its second year as owner and operator of the event. 
     CoreStates "was about three-quarters full" for yesterday's
     final in which Pete Sampras defeated Thomas Enqvist. 
     Sampras said after the match: "The (tournament) seems to
     have lost its luster.  The crowds were very sparse, to say
     the least."  Fleischman writes that while Sampras "was the
     only marquee" player at the event, "what's alarming to IMG
     and Advanta is, even people who had tickets from sponsors
     for the seats closest to the court didn't show up."  IMG's
     Barbara Perry, the tournament's Exec Dir, said a decision
     would be made on the event's future "within a month" (DAILY
     NEWS, 3/2).  More Sampras: "Six, seven years ago [the event]
     was packed, but it seems like each year it's gotten worse. 
     If people aren't going to come out and support it, I'm sure
     there's another city that will" (PHILA. INQUIRER, 3/2).
          ONE TOURNAMENT TOWN? Philadelphia "is the only U.S.
     city other than New York that hosts both men's and women's
     tournaments."  IMG's Perry: "Maybe it's reached a point
     where cities can't support both.  When we bought this event
     last year, we knew it would be tough, but we want to try to
     make it work" (Ray Parrillo, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 2/28).

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