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Published May 10, 1999
NBA: Three of the eight NBA first-round playoff games this weekend played to less-than-capacity crowds. The Magic did not sell out Game One of its series against the 76ers, as the announced crowd of 15,267 was the team's third- smallest crowd of the season. Reports had "as many as" 3,000 tickets available at the 17,248-seat arena "as late as 90 minutes" before tip-off (ST. PETE TIMES, 5/10)....For the first time in 16 home postseason dates, the Heat failed to sell out a playoff game at Miami Arena, drawing 15,036 to the 15,200-seat facility. One thousand seats remain for tonight's game (SUN-SENTINEL, 5/9)....The Hawks drew 20,884 to Saturday's opener against the Pistons at the 21,570-seat GA Dome (THE DAILY)...The NBA Board of Governors approved the Maloofs as the new owners of the Kings. Gavin Maloof, on the league's owners: "They think we have the most exciting team in the league" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 5/9). NHL: In Pittsburgh, Bob Smizik questioned the role of local leadership -- especially Mayor Tom Murphy and County Commissioner Mike Dawida -- in efforts to keep the Penguins in town. Smizik: "People close to the negotiations maintain they have been invisible, perhaps out of fear of further offending the area's large senior citizen population, which stands firm against helping professional sports teams and athletes" (POST-GAZETTE, 5/9). Also in Pittsburgh, Mark Madden wrote the NHL "would benefit, to a degree, if it pulled the ice out from under the Penguins." It would "throw a scare into the rest of the league, encouraging teams to be more fiscally responsible," and it would "give the league strong leverage in its next labor negotiations" with the NHLPA (POST-GAZETTE, 5/8). NFL: N.Y. POST gossip columnist Neal Travis reported that "some have wondered" what Mort Zuckerman and Fred Drasner "are doing" by investing in Daniel Snyder's bid for the Redskins. While the investment might "help" Zuckerman's "social standing" in DC and "it might even get some ads" for his U.S. News & World Report, others say Zuckerman is "treating his entry into the NFL as "just another business decision, one that makes sense because -- as a first-time franchise owner -- he gets to write off the entire investment for tax purposes" (N.Y. POST, 5/9).