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Maple Leafs Lead NHL This
Season In Home Ticket Revenue
Penguins To Host Viewing Party At
Mellon Arena For Game Five In Detroit
SUPER MARIO: In L.A., Helene Elliott writes Penguins Chair Mario Lemieux after Wednesday's Red Wings-Penguins Game Three "avoided reporters, consistent with his denials of interview requests since the playoffs began." Lemieux has said that he "doesn't want to take attention away from the team." Elliott: "Since he owns it, he gets to do what he wants" (L.A. TIMES, 5/30). ESPN.com's Scott Burnside wrote when "requests are made to talk to Lemieux, either in a one-on-one setting or in a group format with reporters covering the finals, word politely comes back through the team that [Lemieux] doesn't want to take the spotlight away from his young team." Burnside: "What a load of hooey. ... This is more about Lemieux's detachment from the game or, at least, detachment from having to share his thoughts and feelings about the game. ... The only reason Lemieux isn't making himself available during these finals is because there's nothing in it for him" (ESPN.com, 5/27).
WHERE'S CROSBY? In Detroit, Drew Sharp reports the NHL limited players at Thursday's media conference to just four players per team, and Crosby was not among those representing the Penguins. Sharp: "Such conditions provided the ideal opportunity for the NHL to further build a mainstream fan base. ... A sport's championship series remains its greatest marketing tool, and when you're blessed with an exceptional second-day talking point like Game 3, you must milk it for every ounce of publicity" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 5/30).
TICKET MASTER: In Detroit, Chris Christoff reports Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox Thursday complained to Ticketmaster and the Penguins about restrictions on Stanley Cup ticket sales to Michigan customers, and in a "triumphant announcement, he assured Michigan fans they could still buy resale tickets online." Ticketmaster said that the "restriction applied only to direct sales, not Ticketmaster's online resales from season-ticket holders and others" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 5/30).
A Seattle-area lesbian couple said that they were "singled out by a security guard" at Monday's Red Sox-Mariners game at Safeco Field "simply because they kissed each other," according to KOMO-ABC. Sirbrina Guerrero said that she "only gave her date a peck, but a mother sitting with her son complained to security and, as a result, they were told to stop or leave." Guerrero said that the "only reason she was called out was because of her sexual orientation." Guerrero said the security guard told her the "mom doesn't want to explain to the kids why two girls are kissing." Safeco Field officials would not comment on the incident, but officials provided a copy of the ballpark's "code of conduct which states 'displays of affection are not appropriate in a public family setting'" (KOMONEWS.com, 5/29). Mariners Dir of Public Information Rebecca Hale said in an e-mail, "We would like folks to know that we're treating these complaints and concerns very seriously. We've definitely not got a policy that states that if you're gay, you can't kiss at Safeco Field. Our policy is, if your behavior is inappropriate in a public setting, we are going to proactively intervene." Hale said that the policy is "not selective," as Mariners staff have "intervened twice in the last month or so in inappropriate displays from heterosexual couples." Hale added that Monday's incident "never involved security," as the women "were not removed from the game and it was a seating host" who handled the situation (SEATTLEPI.com, 5/29).
Rangers Offering Ticket Specials
To Boost Lagging Attendance
Pirates Tying Ticket Discount To Number
Of Runs Scored During Four-Game Series
MARINERS: In Seattle, Jose Miguel Romero reports Mariners jerseys for Saturday's home game against the Tigers will read "Marineros," the Spanish translation of the team's name. It will mark the first time the Mariners have worn the jerseys and is the "most prominent gesture of all the team's previous yearly salutes to Latin America 'beisbol.'" The first 25,000 fans at the game will get a commemorative "Marineros" baseball cap (SEATTLE TIMES, 5/30).
ATTENDANCE NOTES: In N.Y., Filip Bondy wrote the announced attendance at recent Mets games were "dreamy fabrications." Bondy: "I know that these are supposed to be ticket sales numbers. But the Mets would require a 40% no-show rate to make this believable, and their crowd is working class." While Monday's and Tuesday's games drew announced crowds of 51,489 and 47,093, respectively, Bondy wrote there were "no more than 35,000 fans in the park on Monday, and no more than 25,000 on Tuesday" (NYDAILYNEWS.com, 5/28)....Entering Wednesday's Rockies-Phillies game, the Phillies ranked fifth in the NL in attendance with 1,019,966 fans, an average crowd of 39,229 per game at Citizens Bank Park. The team has drawn 10 sellouts this season and 18 of 26 home games have drawn crowds of at least 35,000 (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 5/29).