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COULD SUCCESSFUL WWC HELP LAUNCH A WOMEN'S PRO LEAGUE?
Published July 8, 1999
Former USSF President Alan Rothenberg "has hastily scheduled a meeting" tomorrow in L.A. where "two dozen media members, prospective sponsors and soccer officials will brainstorm about the future of" a women's pro league in the U.S., according to Peter Gambaccini of Sports Illustrated. Rothenberg: "We've clearly caught lightning in a bottle. But it's one thing to point toward a single event like the World Cup and another thing to start a league." Rothenberg said that it would be "harder to start a women's league than it was to get MLS off the ground." Rothenberg: "Men's professional soccer had a background of some success here with the NASL. ... Until the [WWC] we hadn't seen a full stadium for any of the women's games this year." Gambaccini writes that "one point everyone agrees on is that a league wouldn't start until 2001" (SI, 7/12 issue). In Philadelphia, Mike Jensen, on a new league: "Just because the U.S. women are packing them in this summer, that may simply reflect American's fascination with big events" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 7/8). In Dallas, Steve Davis: "Blueprints have been drawn up several times for a U.S. women's pro league. But ideas and working capital are different matters." WWC President & CEO Marla Messing said that she "isn't sure about the viability" of a league. Messing: "This event doesn't tell us if we can sustain ... [the interest] on a week-in, week-out level. But it does tell us there is a demand" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 7/7). WORLD TOUR UP NEXT? USA TODAY's Peter Brewington reports that the USSF "might send" the U.S. team to South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Egypt next year. USSF Secretary General Hank Steinbrecher: "We want to do a world tour. We want to spread the gospel of sports equity." Brewington writes that the first game of a six-to-seven game schedule "could start" in January 2000 (USA TODAY, 7/8). SUPPLY AND TICKET DEMAND: In Boston, John Powers reports that "though [WWC] organizers say they could sell out all 92,000" seats at the Rose Bowl for Saturday's doubleheader, they "won't because the final few thousand have obstructed views." Messing: "We are trying to open up every viable seat. ... I think if we had 120,000 seats we could sell them all. But I think we'll end up somewhere between 88,000 and 90,000" (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/8).