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ONE MONTH OUT, WOMEN'S WORLD CUP SHOOTS FOR SUCCESS
Published May 20, 1999
While there is "ambitious optimism" for the '99 Women's World Cup (WWC), the tournament "is not without risk," according to Jere Longman of the N.Y. TIMES, who writes that the "success of the World Cup is largely tied to the success of the American women." But "fortunately" for organizers, the U.S. team is favored to win, but the "disparity between the best teams and the rest could result in some less-than- entertaining mismatches." But should the U.S. "women not reach the final," the WWC is "not very likely to transcend the base of suburban interest ... to which the event is being primarily marketed." WWC President Marla Messing: "Capturing the imagination of the American public is something we'd like to do. Millions are not aware of the Women's World Cup. To reach out is important." The WWC Organizing Committee's overall budget of $28-$30M is "about one-tenth of the budget" for the men's World Cup and its corporate sponsorship is at $6M, compared to the men's $40M- plus. But ticket sales for the WWC have reached 388,000, more than three times the 112,000 sold for the '95 WWC in Sweden. U.S. co-captain Julie Foudy: "People said when we started this World Cup, 'You can't do it on a big stage, you can't do it in big stadiums, you won't draw.' Tell us what we can't do and we'll do it" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/20).