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TWO NEW INDOOR SOCCER LEAGUES AIM TO GAIN MARKETS/EXPOSURE
Published June 5, 1998
The fledgling Premiere Soccer Alliance (PSA) has added the former CISL Sacramento franchise, the Knights, for the '98 season, joining teams in Dallas, Portland and Arizona. The Knights are owned by NBA Kings Owner Jim Thomas and are a part of his Capital Sports group. The four teams, playing at the Rose Garden, Arco Arena, Reunion Arena and Veteran's Memorial Coliseum, will play an exhibition-type schedule in '98, in addition to games against All-Star teams from Argentina, Italy, Mexico and Brazil. PSA President Gordon Jago told THE DAILY that the PSA expects to field an eight- to 10-team league to begin play in August '99. He hopes to add three more former CISL teams to the PSA in '99, with an eventual goal of a 16-team league. Jago is touting the PSA's business plan which does not require a franchise fee or a league assessment in '99. The league will not have a Commissioner, and instead, each franchise owner will have one vote, with majority rule (THE DAILY). GOOOOAALLLS: Within the next week, Jago said the PSA hopes to announce a CEO and a partnership with an agency to handle all league-wide marketing and media deals. In addition, the PSA is looking to land a national league-wide sponsor by the fall. Jago said the PSA "is not really interested" in a national TV deal, but would like to develop a national 30-minute weekly highlight show. Jago: "From a sponsorship viewpoint, it's a better bet than one or two games and out. ... It's something we could sell far better than a two-hour game." Individual teams will be permitted to create their own local TV deals (THE DAILY). COMPETITION GOOD FOR YOU? Jago said that the PSA "will continue talks" about forming a partnership with the NPSL, the 13-team league that plays from October to March. While Jago has "heard rumors" about the possibility of a re-formed CISL beginning play in '99, he said the PSA is moving ahead with its plan: "I believe there has to be one league, I don't think there's enough [resources] for two leagues." In addition, PSA Dir of Communications Andy McNamara told THE DAILY that CISL player contracts will "become null and void after June." McNamara said that while the PSA has had no contact with the CISL, they hope to reach an "out-of-court settlement" regarding the use of former CISL team names and logos. McNamara, on the possibility of the two leagues joining forces: "A lot of things would have to change, but we'd never shut the door completely" (THE DAILY). C-YA LATER? Former CISL Commissioner Ron Weinstein told THE DAILY that his suspended league is in the process of reforming and "most likely" will begin play next summer. He said the league will be a solely-funded, independent operation consisting of NBA/NHL team owners or those who own or operate their own facilities. He said talks are ongoing about securing a "major" cable TV deal (THE DAILY).