SBD/21/Franchises

BIG MAC ATTACK: MCGWIRE "CATALYST" OF CARD'S ATTENDANCE BUMP

          The MLB Cardinals "are counting on Mark McGwire's
     prodigious power to energize ticket sales this year,"
     according to Christopher Carey of the ST. LOUIS POST-
     DISPATCH.  McGwire has been "the main catalyst" for a 16%
     jump in home attendance, an increase of nearly 4,800 more
     fans per game than in '97, but better weather, a better
     record and special promotions have also contributed.  The
     Cardinals are projecting $83M in revenue this year, "with
     gate receipts ranking as the primary source."  Cardinals
     Secretary/Treasurer Andrew Baur estimates that McGwire's
     pursuit of the home run record last season was worth 5,000
     fans a game for the Cardinals.  Carey writes that if the
     "McGwire inspired crowds continue at the same pace through
     the summer, the Cardinals will draw about 390,000 more fans
     this season than last" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 5/21).
          FROM BUSCH STADIUM TO THE BUSCH CIRCUIT: McGwire has
     joined teammate Gary Gaetti and former Cards Andy Benes and
     Danny Sheaffer "as a backer" of Bobby Hillin's stock car
     team in NASCAR's Busch Series.  McGwire's name will "adorn
     the back of the Chevrolet's deck lid" along with "his up-to-
     date home run total" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 5/21).

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