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The financial impact of this weekend's inaugural Big Ten conference basketball tournament, which begins today at the United Center, was examined by Greg Couch of the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES. Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany: "We generally expect between a quarter-million and a half-million dollars net per institution (in profits from the tournament). And we'll probably be in the high end of that range." The Big Ten "would not break down the figures, but an official from another major conference said its main sponsor puts up $500,000 a year." Kemper Funds is the Big Ten tournament's primary sponsor; United Airlines and Gatorade are secondary sponsors. Ticket sales alone from the tournament, "which is all but sold out," will bring in $4M, or $363,000 for each of its 11 schools. And Delany's numbers "don't include the boost in product the Big Ten can sell to TV networks as part of a season package, or the bump in revenues to each school from the additional exposure" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/4).
The Celebrity Golf Association (CGA), which has staged tournaments in Orlando in each of the past four years, "will not be stopping by for a fifth," according to Jeff Babineau of the ORLANDO SENTINEL. CGA Commissioner Jim Karvellas: "[W]e lost considerable monies in Orlando. ... I don't like leaving there, but it got to the point where, because of certain circumstances, we had to move on." Babineau notes crowds were "sparse" and local sponsors "were slow stepping forward." The CGA "usually" conducts 6-8 events a year, but "has pulled back its reins, hoping to catch its breath and refocus on the road ahead." Karvellas said he hopes to land Michael Jordan, Mario Lemieux and John Elway -- "all of whom have played on the CGA" -- for a Ryder Cup-style tournament on network TV in the summer of '99 (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 3/4).