SBD/27/Franchises

PIAZZA DELIVERS HUGE SHEA CROWDS FOR HIS FIRST GAMES AS MET

          C Mike Piazza's second game as a Met helped the team
     enjoy its "first sellout in five years," according to Steve
     Popper of the N.Y. TIMES.  Sunday's game drew a paid crowd
     of 47,291, and, including 8,484 giveaways, the ballpark was
     at its 55,775 capacity.  On Saturday, Piazza's Mets debut
     attracted a crowd of 32,908.  The team announced that 21,400
     tickets were sold for the two games after Friday's trade
     with the Marlins was announced (N.Y. TIMES, 5/25).  The Mets
     had been averaging 17,601 before Friday's trade. The average
     attendance for the two weekend games was 40,100 (N.Y. POST,
     5/25).  In N.Y., Claire Smith wrote that, in trading for
     Piazza, the Mets have "finally graduated from Off Broadway"
     and "now have the star of the show" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/23). 
     Also in N.Y., George Vecsey wrote that Mets management has
     been feeling the "immense pressure of empty seats and
     yapping voices and the graceful juggernaut in the Bronx." 
     Mets co-Owner Fred Wilpon, on Piazza: "This town is ready. 
     They love him already.  He could be like Willie Mays or
     Mickey Mantle to this town" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/23).
          BACK IN FL: In spite of "all the negativity around the
     Marlins," Miami Mayor Joe Carollo said that he wants the
     Marlins to "build a stadium next to the Heat's new arena,"
     and added that he is "willing to consider using public money
     to do it," according to Barry Jackson of the MIAMI HERALD.
     But Jackson wrote that the city "is in no position" to
     contribute toward a retractable-dome stadium, as it is
     "recovering from a financial crisis" (MIAMI HERALD, 5/25). 
     
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