SBD/24/Leagues Governing Bodies

KICKING IT INTO GEAR; THIRD MLS SEASON UNDERWAY

          MLS had a full schedule of games over the weekend as
     its third season opened league-wide.  An announced crowd of
     36,281 attended the Clash-Galaxy game at the Rose Bowl, top
     among the league's weekend gate (THE DAILY).  A crowd of
     18,108 attended DC United's home opener Saturday night
     against the Wizards at RFK Stadium.  In DC, Steven Goff
     reported that "miserable weather certainly was a factor" in
     the team's smallest opening night crowd in its three-year
     history, and that it was "apparent that many fans from the
     Latin American community, angered by the trade of Salvadoran
     star Raul Diaz Arce, did not show."  DC United drew 35,0032
     for their home opener in '96 and 28,749 last season
     (WASHINGTON POST, 3/23).  The Fusion drew 14,653 Saturday
     night at Lockhart Stadium for their game versus the Fire. It
     was the Fire's inaugural MLS game (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/22). 
     In Ft. Lauderdale, Michael Mayo said that the Fusion's
     "novelty factor has faded" in its second game, and that some
     of the announced crowd was "lured by a Ziggy Marley concert
     after the game" (SUN-SENTINEL, 3/22).  In Tampa, the Mutiny
     drew 16,221 for their opener against the Crew at Houlihan's
     Stadium (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 3/22).  The Burn drew 11,103 against
     the Rapids at the Cotton Bowl (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/22).  
          MLS FACES TESTS: In N.Y., George Vecsey profiled MLS
     Commissioner Doug Logan, and wrote Logan is "talking up the
     concept of his league's being No. 4 1/2 among major sports. 
     He would like his league to feel like the sport of the
     people."  Vecsey: "We could use one of those, what with the
     four established leagues rapidly becoming dominated by
     conglomerations, aiming at corporate clients."  Logan: "The
     biggest piece of garbage in American sports is the luxury
     box, with it couches faced away from the field, facing a
     huge color television set, with everybody eating sushi." 
     Logan said MLS's "four separate groups" of fans include the
     purists, kids who play soccer, Hispanics and the general
     sports fan, "the guy who reads his newspaper back to front,
     the baseball fan who is tired of the players.  That's our
     largest work in progress" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/22).     

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