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The $43 million Garden is the third poorly conceived and badly constructed indoor sports stadium opened in the last five months.
Another is the $12 million Spectrum in Philadelphia, which looks at a distance like a tuna-fish can and already has large rust stains running down its exterior. One gusty night two weeks ago the Spectrum lost a 150-by-50-foot section of its roof, as if it wasn't windy enough inside. It is so cold that Arthur Ashe remarked after playing in a tournament there recently, "I couldn't work up a sweat." At least the fans are prepared. To get their tickets in the first place, they must queue up at an outside ticket window. The scoreboard is in place but does not work, and there isn't a clock in the building.
In Los Angeles, the $16 million Forum which Jack Kent Cooke built principally for his hockey team has not satisfied all the Kings' fans, despite its plush elegance. The view from several areas is poor. There is one public restaurant—which seats 35 people—and only 3,000 parking places to satisfy capacity crowds of 17,000. In a city where just about everyone drives, the traffic jam at the Forum is particularly horrendous.
It is hard to understand why, after the number of major indoor stadiums constructed in the past 10 years, architects and builders still cannot find out what will work and what will not.
On Adams Pond in Boothbay Harbor, Me., smelting shanties are being used as hunting blinds, but instead of the quarry being mallard or canvasback, it is sea gulls. The pond, which supplies the town's water, has become increasingly polluted by gulls that congregate there after feeding at the local dump. Several schemes to discourage the birds failed, so the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has declared open season on the Boothbay gulls. The Boothbay water company has designated one of its employees, Lawrence Andrews, to shoot the gulls whenever they appear.
Since the birds fly away at the sight of men, Andrews hides in a shanty mounted on skids. He moves the shack slowly across the ice toward the gulls and, when he gets within range, blasts away through an opening. When the ice melts, Andrews will have to change his technique, but for now, at least, he has it down cold.
HANDSOME IS AS HANDSOME DOES
The U.S. road company of tennis pros which highlights such stars as John Newcombe, Dennis Ralston and Tony Roche called off the show last weekend after playing before an audience of 87 people in Orlando, Fla. Dave Dixon's Handsome Eight were to have appeared in Tampa, but the prospect of another empty house brought the tour to a sudden halt. In 29 appearances, the tennis pros had drawn only 22,000, and of this number some had been admitted free.
After a hurried conference with Dixon last Saturday in Dallas, Lamar Hunt, the backer of the tour, said, "We certainly are not going to drop the idea. We will probably play less, one tournament a week rather than two. There is something radically wrong with what we're doing, obviously. I think our problems stem mostly from the fact that we have had no time for promotion and public relations matters. We are going to concentrate on that now. As for the players, naturally they are disappointed. But they are getting well paid, and after all, that is the main thing."