The announced paid attendance for Game 2 of the NLCS in
Cincinnati last night was 44,624, which is 8,328 short of a
sellout. Reds Owner Marge Schott called the situation
"disappointing" and said that Reds fans are "spoiled." Reds GM
Jim Bowden said, "We're the ones to blame for the empty seats.
That's a result of what we've done to the game" (Jack Wilkinson,
ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 10/12). Tuesday's Game 1 featured more
than 16,000 empty seats.
NATIONAL ATTENTION: In New York, Anthony Gargano writes,
"There's apathy in the town Pete Rose built" (N.Y. POST, 10/12).
In Washington, Tom Boswell reacts to Bowden's statement -- "If
they don't want to come see us, we can't make them come": "That
isn't true. You can make them want to come. It's called
marketing. The Reds don't waste money on such new-fangled
notions" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/12). USA TODAY's Tom Weir notes
Riverfront "wasn't dressed up" -- with a "bare minimum of
bunting" and no playoff logo (USA TODAY, 10/12). USA TODAY's
Rick Bozich: "Welcome to the No-Show" (USA TODAY, 10/12). In
Philadelphia, Rich Hofmann writes, "You can't help be stunned by
the fragility of this sport's underpinnings right now"
(PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 10/11). ESPN's Gary Miller, before
last night's game: "There are more people gathered around the
batting cage right now than there were in the upper deck in the
outfield last night." Barry Larkin: "People are obviously still
upset about the strike" ("SportsCenter," 10/11).
LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE: USA TODAY's Hal Bodley notes the
positive effect the Mariners' run is having on the game (USA
TODAY, 10/12). In Milwaukee, Dale Hofmann notes the cancellation
of the O.J. interview, which was to compete with ABC's playoff
coverage: "Baseball's run of buzzard luck was interrupted"
(MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 10/12).
The WTA Tour announced yesterday that Corel Corp., the
Ottawa-based developer of PC graphics and multimedia software,
has been signed to a multiyear, multimillion dollar sponsorship
deal. Under the agreement, Corel will become worldwide title
sponsor of the WTA Tour. The "Corel WTA Tour" debuts November
13-19 at the Tour Championships at Madison Square Garden in New
York. WTA Tour CEO Anne Person Worcester: "This is an important
date in the history of women's tennis" (WTA Tour). The OTTAWA
CITIZEN reports the deal is for three years at $4M a year. For
its part, Corel will receive "extensive international on-court
exposure -- signs, net posts, patches on players' tops -- and
television coverage." In addition, Corel will help the WTA
establish a Web site and assist with other promos, including
player profiles on CD-ROM. Corel CEO Michael Cowpland: "This
will turn Corel into a household name. Right now, we're No. 2
behind Microsoft for software." Cowpland expecially noted the
possibilities in Japan and the Far East." The deal also means
the likelihood of women's tennis returning to network TV.
Cowpland met with officials from Fox on Tuesday and he is
"certain" the network will televise all U.S.-based WTA Tour
events (Martin Cleary, OTTAWA CITIZEN, 10/12).
WHAT NEXT? Corel may "try to enlist the assistance of
publishing firms to help market the tour," according to Reynolds
and O'Loughlin of INSIDE MEDIA. Corel reportedly sent out a
proposal to a "number of computer publishers and magazine
companies in late August to gauge their interest in being
assigned certain tour marketing rights and amenities in exchange
for millions of dollars worth of pages in the magazines" (INSIDE
MEDIA, 10/4-18 issue).
While giving Deion Sanders permission to play with the
Cowboys, the NFL also declared his contract with the team is a
"circumvention of the salary cap," according to today's DALLAS
MORNING NEWS. The league has asked the Cowboys to restructure
the deal "to significantly inflate the relatively minuscule
$2.035 million Sanders would charge to their cap his first three
seasons with the team." Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones: "There have
probably been 50 contracts structured like this. The only thing
different about this contract is that it is bigger than any they
have seen." At issue are the low base salaries to be paid to
Sanders and the fact that the seven-year deal could be voided to
five, allowing the Cowboys to spread the signing bonus over more
years. NFL Exec VP Harold Henderson: "The CBA is completely
undermined if contracts for superstars are structured with
artificial, substandard salaries and outsized bonuses." NFLPA
General Counsel Richard Berthelsen: "Our agreement specially
states that anything permitted by the collective bargaining
agreement cannot be considered circumvention." Jones said any
dispute on Sanders' contract would be a matter for the NFLPA to
pursue (Ed Werder, DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/12).
With the addition of the Canadian expansion teams, the NBA
will expand the number of teams in the annual draft lottery to 13
(HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 10/12)....The beginning of the NHL season
brings with it a "relaunch" of the league's new marketing
programs. NHL Enterprises is readying spots based on the
league's new "marketing moniker" -- "the coolest game on earth"
(AD AGE, 10/9 issue)....Philadelphia businessman Ed Tepper has
applied to become the 15th NPSL franchise. He expects to have a
lease agreement soon with the Spectrum to begin play in '96-97,
when the 76ers and Flyers move to the adjacent CoreStates Center
(PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 10/11)....The CFL Board of Governors
meets next month to discuss restructuring proposals put forth by
U.S. franchise owners. Birmingham Barracudas Owner Art Williams
has called for a new name, rule changes and competition for top
college players (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/7)....In L.A., Hilary
MacGregor profiles Don Nomura, agent to Hideo Nomo who is seeking
to deregulate Japanese baseball. Nomura: "The Japanese teams
are like car companies here. They are totally closed." Japanese
baseball officials refer to Nomura as a "self-promoter" (L.A.
TIMES, 10/9)....FIFA has set up a commission to study European
proposals to overhaul the organization of soccer, rotate the
World Cup and increase income (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 10/10).