Bravo, Big Apple
Goodwill Games officials rate New York 'world-class'
Posted: Friday July 24, 1998 08:20 PM
NEW YORK (AP) - It's hot, it's dirty, it's noisy, it's crowded. That's New York. And the top officials of the Goodwill Games said Friday it's also a great place to hold a big sports event.
Turner Sports president Harvey Schiller and Goodwill Games president Mike Plant said the Big Apple had welcomed their multi-sport competition and helped make its first week more successful than expected.
"The games have been better than anticipated in a number of areas," Schiller said.
He pointed to high-quality athletic performances, trouble-free venue operations, "absolutely superb" television production and TV ratings that are up 42 percent from the last games in St. Petersburg, Russia, four years ago.
Schiller said those higher numbers were partly the result of the host city.
"It's the United States and New York," he said. "Having the venue here builds interest."
Plant noted that the current competition had been free of logistics problems that plagued the St. Petersburg event, such as dirty water in the swimming pool and poor refrigeration at figure skating.
"There have been no questions about green water in the pool or no ice at the ice rink," he said.
Schiller and Plant also said that the Goodwill experience could help New York's bid to stage the Olympics in 2012.
"I don't want to get in a situation of one city vs. another, but New York is great," said Schiller, a former executive director of the U.S. Olympic Committee. "It's a world-class city and they can do a world-class event."
Schiller also said about 350,000 tickets out of a total capacity of 600,000 had been sold, with total sales expected to top 400,000.
The best attended events in the first week were at track in suburban Uniondale, N.Y.
Although sparse crowds were spotted at preliminaries for basketball and beach volleyball, officials said Friday that for medal-round games in those sports were nearing a sellout.
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