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Volume 24 No. 116
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          The state of Rhode Island should reap an economic
     benefit of $75M for hosting the Gravity Games over the next
     three years, according to Tom Mooney of the PROVIDENCE
     JOURNAL.  Providence's winning bid for the games, which beat
     out cites including Denver and San Diego, was well-received
     by the Gravity Games committee due to the city's offer of
     government support for the four-day alternative sports
     festival held in September.  The city offered the event cost
     breaks for police and fire protection, hotel accommodations,
     and office space as well as an assurance of "proper" media
     promotion of the games with a pledge from the Providence
     Journal.  The event will also receive a "cash contribution"
     of $1M from public funds as an "enticement" to the game's
     sponsors, as well as to assist in reducing production costs.
     The money will be paid out over three years and matched by
     $1M in "private money."  In announcing the games, Providence
     Mayor Vincent Cianci received a skateboard from games
     consultant Biker Sherlock: "I shouldn't be holding this. 
     It's like holding marijuana" (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 2/10). 
          A NEW APPROACH: NBC Sports Dir of New Business
     Development Kevin Monaghan said the games hope to "create a
     nice little niche that's very, very young," as the event
     will air in October in direct competition with the NFL. 
     Monaghan: "We think that more and more young people aren't
     focusing on team.  They are focusing on these individual
     adrenaline sports."  Monaghan said that promotion for the
     event will "be a multiple media presentation" with plans to
     promote the event through outlets such as CNBC, MSNBC and
     even "Saturday Night Live," while Petersen will push the
     event in its Raw Sports Group titles Slam and Skate Boarder. 
     Petersen is also "creating" a games Web site that "won't
     just be focused on the games" and the company.   Monaghan
     says the site will be year-round and will "have an attitude. 
     It's going to be cynical.  It's going to tie in to the
     Gravity Games music ... you're going to be able to buy
     Gravity Games merchandise, and you're going to be able to
     talk to the athletes" in chat sessions (PRO. JOURNAL, 2/10).