WWOC CONFIDENT OF ATTRACTING FANS TO EVENT'S LARGE VENUES
The '99 FIFA Women's World Cup Organizing Committee
(WWOC) formally announced the eight venues to host its
soccer matches and "rather than the modest tournament
originally conceived when the U.S. made its bid for the 1999
World Cup, the committee opted for major stadiums,"
according to Ike Kuhns of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. For a
complete site list, see yesterday's DAILY. But "concerns
over whether women's soccer has developed enough of a
following to fill such large venues were put aside by" WWOC
President & CEO Marla Messing. Messing: "We believe this is
an Olympic-sized event. This is the world's championship of
women's soccer and, as the women play more and more, their
fan base grows bigger and bigger." Messing said the WWOC
was faced with a choice of 5,000-10,000 seat stadiums or
60,000-70,000 seat facilities. Messing: "We would rather
see the event reach its potential and we definitely feel
that for certain games, the opening game, the final game,
the U.S. games ... we will fill the stadiums. For some of
the first-round games, we're not expecting to fill the
stadiums, but if we can put 20,000 in there rather than
10,000 we're very happy" (STAR-LEDGER, 11/20). In N.Y.,
Jere Longman adds that some U.S. Soccer execs have estimated
an average attendance of 25,000 (N.Y. TIMES, 11/20).
CALLING ALL STATIONS: The Women's World Cup Finals
includes 32 games scheduled from June 19-July 10, 1999.
Messing: "Our job is to generate awareness. We're not where
we need to be, but the (U.S.) team is going to play about 30
games between January of '98 and June of '99. ... As far as
our financial objectives for the tournament, they're really
to break even" (USA TODAY, 11/20)....Tickets are tentatively
scheduled to go on sale in March (NEWSDAY, 11/20)....In
L.A., Randy Harvey notes that the World Cup finals will be
played at the Rose Bowl, and adds, "The Rose Bowl and L.A.
Sports Council deserve credit for bringing the 1999 Women's
World Cup final to Pasadena. But why weren't more games
awarded to the Rose Bowl?" (L.A. TIMES, 11/20).