Rage's Move To Philly Is Official

Posted: July 17, 1997

The American Basketball League made it official, announcing its Richmond Rage will relocate to Philadelphia and begin play here this fall.

Richmond was one of the three weakest draws in the eight-team women's league, averaging a little more than 3,000 fans a game. And now that the league must compete with the more highly publicized Women's National Basketball Association, the ABL is seeking bigger markets.

Philadelphia is the nation's fourth largest TV market. Richmond is not in the top 50.

``[The WNBA] has the advantage right now in television and marketing,'' said Gary Cavalli, the ABL's chief executive officer.

The Rage, led by former Murrell Dobbins Tech star Dawn Staley, is looking into playing home games at either the Palestra or the new Apollo of Temple.

WNBA: CROWDS UP The WNBA, saying it is drawing more fans than expected, revised its average attendance projection upward, to 6,500 per game. The NBA-sponsored women's pro basketball league went into its first season expecting to average 4,000 per game. The league is averaging 8,921 fans.

SPARKS: FIRE COACH The WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks fired coach Linda Sharp, who led the team to a 4-7 start. Interim coach Julie Rousseau, a former assistant, won her debut last night, 77-52, over Houston. Former NBA star Orlando Woolridge was named an assistant.

MERCURY: FINE LEVIED The WNBA fined Phoenix Mercury reserve guard Nancy Lieberman-Cline $500 for grabbing Los Angeles guard Jamila Wideman by the neck in a game Sunday.

|
|
|
|
|