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Volume 24 No. 112
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          While there is "ambitious optimism" for the '99 Women's
     World Cup (WWC), the tournament "is not without risk,"
     according to Jere Longman of the N.Y. TIMES, who writes that
     the "success of the World Cup is largely tied to the success
     of the American women."  But "fortunately" for organizers,
     the U.S. team is favored to win, but the "disparity between
     the best teams and the rest could result in some less-than-
     entertaining mismatches."  But should the U.S. "women not
     reach the final," the WWC is "not very likely to transcend
     the base of suburban interest ... to which the event is
     being primarily marketed."  WWC President Marla Messing:
     "Capturing the imagination of the American public is
     something we'd like to do.  Millions are not aware of the
     Women's World Cup.  To reach out is important."  The WWC
     Organizing Committee's overall budget of $28-$30M is "about
     one-tenth of the budget" for the men's World Cup and its
     corporate sponsorship is at $6M, compared to the men's $40M-
     plus.  But ticket sales for the WWC have reached 388,000,
     more than three times the 112,000 sold for the '95 WWC in
     Sweden.  U.S. co-captain Julie Foudy: "People said when we
     started this World Cup, 'You can't do it on a big stage, you
     can't do it in big stadiums, you won't draw.'  Tell us what
     we can't do and we'll do it" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/20).