WILL UPCOMING GAMES BRING GOODWILL TO NEW YORK, MR. TURNER?
By losing "millions of dollars" during the first three
Goodwill Games, Ted Turner has shown that "making money is
not his primary motivation in staging the event," according
to Richard Sandomir of the N.Y. TIMES. Turner said
yesterday at a news conference, "You don't evaluate
everything by whether or not you make a profit. Mother
Teresa didn't make a profit." Sandomir reports that so far,
the 15-sport event has sold 130,000 of the 600,000 available
tickets. Turner: "It's early yet" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/16).
IS EVENT "A BUST"? In N.Y., Chris Isidore writes that
with a $200M price tag and "modest viewership expectations,"
Time Warner will be "closely" watching the games. Univ. of
MA Sports Management Assistant Professor Jay Gladden: "It
could very well be the last gasp for the games.
Particularly with the (Turner-Time Warner) merger, this
event now ultimately has to answer to shareholders."
Goodwill Games President Mike Plant said that organizers
"always expected late ticket sales and have been holding
back on their marketing efforts." Plant: "This is a very
challenging city in which to promote and sell an event. ...
[I]t would have been foolish for us to have a blitz when
people in New York weren't going to focus on it for a couple
of months" (CRAIN'S N.Y. BUSINESS, 6/15). Also in N.Y., Paul
Schwartzman wrote that the Games "are generating less-than-
heated interest among fans and within the sports industry."
Grey Advertising's Jon Mandel: "No one cares about it; no
one knows about it." A senior mayoral advisor, who spoke on
the condition of anonymity: "It's probably going to be a
bust." But Games spokesperson Michael Llewellen said, "The
buzz is building" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/14).