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WILL UPCOMING GAMES BRING GOODWILL TO NEW YORK, MR. TURNER?
Published June 16, 1998
By losing "millions of dollars" during the first three Goodwill Games, Ted Turner has shown that "making money is not his primary motivation in staging the event," according to Richard Sandomir of the N.Y. TIMES. Turner said yesterday at a news conference, "You don't evaluate everything by whether or not you make a profit. Mother Teresa didn't make a profit." Sandomir reports that so far, the 15-sport event has sold 130,000 of the 600,000 available tickets. Turner: "It's early yet" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/16). IS EVENT "A BUST"? In N.Y., Chris Isidore writes that with a $200M price tag and "modest viewership expectations," Time Warner will be "closely" watching the games. Univ. of MA Sports Management Assistant Professor Jay Gladden: "It could very well be the last gasp for the games. Particularly with the (Turner-Time Warner) merger, this event now ultimately has to answer to shareholders." Goodwill Games President Mike Plant said that organizers "always expected late ticket sales and have been holding back on their marketing efforts." Plant: "This is a very challenging city in which to promote and sell an event. ... [I]t would have been foolish for us to have a blitz when people in New York weren't going to focus on it for a couple of months" (CRAIN'S N.Y. BUSINESS, 6/15). Also in N.Y., Paul Schwartzman wrote that the Games "are generating less-than- heated interest among fans and within the sports industry." Grey Advertising's Jon Mandel: "No one cares about it; no one knows about it." A senior mayoral advisor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity: "It's probably going to be a bust." But Games spokesperson Michael Llewellen said, "The buzz is building" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/14).