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WUSA "ON COURSE" WITH UNVEILING OF NAMES, LOGOS, STADIUMS
Published November 3, 2000
The WUSA has "moved slowly" since its formation in February, but with Monday's foreign player draft and yesterday's unveiling of the eight team names, logos and stadiums, the league "appears on course for its mid-April launch," according to Brian Straus of the WASHINGTON POST. The Washington Freedom, which will play and house its corporate offices at RFK Stadium, as well as the Boston Breakers and Bay Area CyberRays, will play in MLS stadiums. The Carolina Tempest, Philadelphia Charge, San Diego Spirit and Atlanta Beat, all cities where there are no MLS teams, will play on college campuses. The N.Y. Power will play at Mitchell Athletic Complex on Long Island. While the WUSA is "anticipating" 7,000 fans a game, Freedom Owner-Investor John Hendricks said, "We investigated a lot of stadium opportunities. There wasn't that ideal stadium for 8,000 to 12,000 that could be upgraded, and when we got Mia [Hamm] in the allocation our focus changed a bit because she is such a draw. I think long term we would be looking at developing a more intimate soccer-specific facility." Hendricks added that the team "already is working on formulating ticket plans" that will include an offer of up to two free season tickets to children six and under with the purchase of an adult season ticket (WASHINGTON POST, 11/3). In N.Y., George Vecsey reports that the WUSA "plans average salaries" of $40,000 and a salary cap of $800,000 per team. Ticket prices will be about $12-15 (N.Y. TIMES, 11/3)....Time Warner Cable is an investor in the league, and company VP Jerome Ramsey said while ticket prices have not been finalized, "this is a family game and we want to make sure they can have a Coke and a hot dog and enjoy themselves." On Long Island, Laura Price-Brown reports that the "top ticket price is estimated" at $12.50 (NEWSDAY, 11/3). AROUND THE LEAGUE: While the Breakers "could wind up sharing" Foxboro Stadium with the Revolution, team GM Joe Cummings has "suggested utilizing a group of stadiums in the Breakers' first year in an effort to showcase the team throughout the region" (HARTFORD COURANT, 11/3). In Boston, Gus Martins reports that where the Breakers will play has "yet to be announced," but it "appears the team could play at Tufts and occasionally -- in doubleheaders" with the Revolution at Foxboro. The name Breakers was also the nickname of Boston's USFL team of the early '80s (BOSTON HERALD, 11/3)....Spirit Owner Cox Communications pledged $2.5M to expand the Univ. of SD's Torero Stadium over the next two years. By April, the stadium's capacity will be increased from 3,000 to about 6,000. For the second season, the "tentative plan" is to install 2,000 more seats (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 11/3)....Terry Smith, who designed the CyberRays' logo, a "head-on view of a purple and black ray clutching" a soccer ball, said, "I wanted to come up with a powerful mark. Even though the CyberRays will play in a women's sports league, I didn't want something perceived as feminine. I wanted it to appeal to men and women, boys and girls" (CONTRA COSTA TIMES, 11/3)....In Raleigh, Robert Alfonso writes that while the arrival of the Tempest is "viewed as good news for soccer fans, it is bad news" for the W-League champion Raleigh Wings, which are "expected to either move or fold today as the semi-pro league and its teams adjust" to the WUSA (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 11/3).