Season ticket sales to grow as season shrinks

Sandra McKee

March 11, 1991|By Sandra McKee

The Blast is about to begin its season ticket campaign this week.

With season tickets at 2,800 this season, Blast owner Ed Hale and general manager John Borozzi see a great opportunity for growth in 1991-92.

"I tell you what will help tremendously," said Borozzi. "Twelve less games. That will reduce the season ticket prices by 23 percent, and we'll give an additional discount of 5 to 10 percent for those who buy early."

The Major Soccer League is cutting its schedule to 40 games next season. It is a move designed to cut expenses, improve attendance and open a window for outdoor games in late spring and summer.

Borozzi said research of season ticket holders shows an absence of families.

He said the reason is twofold: total cost and the fact that with 32 home dates, it has meant a major time commitment.

"Who can afford to come in this economy?" Hale said. "But I think the economy is turning around and I think we're going to be doing things that will help."

One of those things will be a five-month payment plan for the $14 ticket, the Blast's highest.

"People think I'm insensitive and don't know what it's like to be squeezed for money," Hale said. "But I was poor a whole lot longer than I've been rich."

* SAME OLD STORY: When the Blast and the San Diego Sockers get together, it's usually for a well-played, tightly contested game. And the Sockers usually wind up winning, one way or another.

That's how it was again Saturday in San Diego, where the Blast lost, 6-4. It was the Sockers' 17th win in their last 18 home games.

The Blast (19-23) has now lost five straight and is three games out of first place in the East. Calvert Hall grad Chris Reif, the Blast's newly signed defender, scored his first MSL goal on his first shot. Also scoring for the Blast were Billy Ronson and Domenic Mobilio (two).

Now, with a 5-16 road record, the Blast moves on to Tacoma for tomorrow's game against the Stars.

* A RECORD NO LESS: With those two goals in San Diego, Mobilio became the first player in Blast history to have back-to-back 40-goal seasons.

* ST. LOUIS SHOCKED: The St. Louis Storm, 25-17 and firmly established in second place in the MSL Western Division, didn't expect to disappoint 12,217 fans in St. Louis Arena Friday. But Dallas had other plans. The Sidekicks, 17-26 and 10 1/2 games out in the West, won 5-3 as Tatu scored his ninth hat trick of the season.

* TREKKING ALONG: San Diego coach Ron Newman spent four days in Mexico recently holding seminars and clinics. The end result may be two exhibition games -- indoor and outdoor -- against Club America of Mexico City.

Club America is owned by broadcast giant TeleVisa, the largest Hispanic programmer in the world. The exhibitions could be broadcast throughout the Spanish-speaking world.

Newman also hopes if Mexico becomes enamored with the U.S. version of indoor soccer, it will carry some weight with FIFA

* NATIONAL TEAM SCENE: John Kowalski, interim coach of the U.S. National Team, may not be in the position much longer, a fact the former Pittsburgh MSL coach does not lament.

The MSL coach who will be upset, however, is Ron Newman. Newman spoke to U.S. Soccer Federation president Alan Rothenberg during the MSL All-Star meetings last month, informing the new president of his interest in the position.

Rothenberg told Newman he is considered an indoor coach, because he has "coached indoors for nine years."

Newman, who put together outdoor programs in Atlanta and Dallas, countered that it has been "only six years."

"Besides," said Newman. "You still know how to ride a bike don't you? It's not like I've been coaching cricket."

Feelings here are Newman at least deserves an interview, but it isn't likely he'll get it.

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