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HE WON'T TURN HIS MASBACK ON ATLANTA: USATF STAYS WITH CITY

          With the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships six
     years into a 10-year deal with the Georgia Dome, USATF Exec
     Dir Craig Masback said that despite "nobody ... billing this
     as a breakthrough year" for the event, "it's not time to
     give up on Atlanta as host," according to Mike Fish of the
     ATLANTA CONSTITUTION.  The USATF championships average
     attendance its first four years in Atlanta was 17,000, but
     was "based on exaggerated estimates."  An "accurate account"
     last year saw that the USATF championships drew 8,874, with
     only 6,474 paid.  Masback said that he "would hope to
     exceed" that total this year, with the event "getting a
     significant" backing from local sponsors.  Masback said that
     the USATF plans to open an Atlanta office to market future
     indoor championships "better."  The USATF championships will
     be held this weekend (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 2/26).

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