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Volume 26 No. 85
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FIGHT BREAKS OUT AT STAPLES: AMAZINGLY, NO FINES ISSUED

          A "melee erupted among 1,500 excited" Lakers fans
     seeking to purchase playoff tickets at Staples Center in
     L.A. Saturday, resulting in "dozens of police in riot gear"
     being called to the arena to "calm the crowd that became
     chaotic after the ticket sales process turned hysterical,"
     according to Jennifer Hamm of the L.A. DAILY NEWS.  One man
     was arrested while "dozens of people suffered cuts and
     scrapes" after the incident.  Meanwhile, playoff sales were
     suspended throughout the L.A. area and officials announced
     sales will resume next Sunday at 10:00am PT "with a new
     procedure to guarantee" order.  Staples Center President Tim
     Leiweke "took no responsibility for the problems," saying
     only that the arena "was supporting the Lakers' efforts to
     eliminate brokers from hoarding" playoff tickets.  Leiweke:
     "We will continue to have zero tolerance for ticket brokers
     and their ability to profit from faithful fans."  Fans,
     "many of whom waited overnight" for tickets "blamed" arena
     officials, saying "not enough was done to keep the crowd
     organized and calm."  L.A.P.D. Sergeant Dave Nunez: "The
     Staples Center didn't have the ticket sales in an orderly
     manner.  We came to restore the peace."   Hamm wrote that
     although "most fans formed an orderly line that stretched
     around the side of the arena, a large group of unruly fans
     at the front of the line demanded to know" how tickets would
     be distributed (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 4/9).