SBD/9/Franchises

CITING THE NEED TO STAY COMPETITIVE, SUNS RAISE '98-99 TIX

          The Suns announced a ticket increase for the '98-99
     season, according to Kent Somers of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. 
     Some seats will cost 18-20% more, and prices will increase
     an average of 13%.  Suns President & CEO Jerry Colangelo:
     "This is not about greed, not about the bottom line.  This
     is about trying to remain competitive."  Most of the seats
     in the lower level of America West Arena are increasing in
     price from $7 to $9.  Upper-level seats are increasing $2 to
     $3 per ticket.  Colangelo said that to compete, the Suns
     "have to increase" their gate receipts.  The Suns were 10th
     in the league in gate receipts last year, averaging a little
     more than $600,000 a game.  The Knicks were first, at $1.2M. 
     Colangelo said that the ticket hike "should boost the Suns
     to about eighth, at $720,000" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/7).
          
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