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June 19, 2000
I spent $100 to watch a NASCAR race, spent another $100 on food and merchandise and felt I got a good deal! It's value that's important, not price.—BRUCE KENT, San Diego
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June 19, 2000


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I spent $100 to watch a NASCAR race, spent another $100 on food and merchandise and felt I got a good deal! It's value that's important, not price.
—BRUCE KENT, San Diego

Sticker Shock
Your article on the high cost of attending sporting events was filled with eye-opening facts about the price a family has to pay to see its favorite team perform (Hey Fans: Sit on It! May 15). However, there was one omission: About 99% of regular-season games don't mean anything.
MIKE D'ANNIBALLE, Columbus, Ohio

The majority of pro athletes are the children of blue-collar, working-class drones, the people who can no longer afford to attend a game. Hasn't this irony struck the overpaid players?

Tom Cruise makes $20 million per movie, and a front row seat at a theater is $8. Mike Modano makes $6 million a year, and a front row seat at an arena is $250. Either Cruise is underpaid, or my Dallas Stars tickets are way overpriced.

By making it prohibitively expensive for families to go to games, big league franchises are ignoring their future fan base. Children today aren't interested in home teams. Most probably can't name 10% of the players on the roster.
DAN FERREIRA, Hayward, Calif.

It's true that corporate purchasing has been a major factor in driving up ticket prices. However, there's one element that E.M. Swift missed: The cost of sports tickets is tax deductible as a business entertainment expense. Thus the individual fan not only gets relegated to the nosebleed seats, but the cost of the expensive seats is federally subsidized. Talk about corporate welfare!

NBA owners, puzzled why more fans don't attend the games, should look at Scottie Pippen's comment in your May 8 issue (page 42): "I pretty much coasted for part of the regular season." As a former pro basketball fan, I have no intention of paying to watch a coddled multimillionaire like Pippen go through the motions.
WAYNE MUTCHLER, Peterborough, N.H.

The significant decline in the quality of play in most major pro sports must be taken into consideration. Baseball and hockey, in particular, have been diluted by overzealous expansion. Why are offensive statistics soaring in baseball? Shorter fences, evaporating strike zones and lower mounds have helped, but virtually every pitching staff has at least one, if not several, pitchers who should not be in the majors.
JIM WILSON, Villanova, Pa.

Lightning Rod
It was refreshing to read an article on Latrell Sprewell that described who he is and not who he was [Spree for All, May 15). Sprewell is a talented athlete who has had problems, like many players in the NBA. New York took a chance on him two seasons ago when few teams wanted him. Now I bet there's no team that would deny having him near the top of its wish list.

Your article about Sprewell described him as being "intelligent." Yet there was not one thing in the article that made me think this guy has a brain. Let's see, he Jet Skis for fun, likes to play computer games, drives fast, doesn't read many books except those about hot rods and luxury cars, and has five kids out of wedlock. Now there's a guy I admire for his intellect!
KATHY CONNORS, Medina, Wash.

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