The announcement by NBA Commissioner Walter Kennedy that his league had decided to abandon attempts to achieve a merger with the ABA coincided with the receipt of attendance figures for the two leagues. The ABA was heartened by a report that in games played during a seven-day period between Nov. 3 and Nov. 9, the new league had almost achieved parity with the older one: ABA average attendance per game that week was 5,396 compared to the NBA's 6,353. And figures for the entire season to that point showed that three ABA teams ( Indiana, Kentucky and Utah) had moved into the Top Ten (of 28 pro clubs) in average attendance.
However, the NBA's New York Knicks had averaged 17,427, the Los Angeles Lakers 12,469 and the Milwaukee Bucks 10,099, whereas the ABA's Indiana Pacers, best in that league, had drawn only 7,900. And while 13 of the top 16 in attendance were from the NBA, the bottom six and eight of the bottom 11 were from the 11-team ABA.
You've come a long way, baby, but you've still got a long way to go.
It was uneconomical and impractical for Northwestern High School of Darlington, Pa. to build a press box at its athletic field. So Northwestern took an old school bus and built a nifty wooden press box (complete with P.A. system) on its roof. When a game is scheduled the bus box is rolled out and parked opposite the 50-yard line. Afterward it is driven off and stored away till next time.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has approved a $16 million bond issue for the improvement of Candlestick Park, the oldest young stadium in the country. The reported reason for the improvements is to accommodate the San Francisco 49ers, who are dissatisfied with ancient Kezar Stadium in Golden Gate Park. The supervisors were apparently impressed by the 49ers' argument that people simply would not attend games at Kezar, and that this was the reason why the 49ers' attendance had fallen off so badly (to about 33,000 a game in 1969). But last year the 49ers lost eight games. This year they have been a first-place team in the NFC's Western Division, and the attendance in dilapidated old Kezar has been rewarding. A capacity crowd of 59,335 watched San Francisco beat Green Bay, and 8,000 more were turned away. And the stadium has long been sold out for the 49ers' game with the Los Angeles Rams this Sunday. Perhaps there is something to the old theory that it is the quality of the play rather than the quality of the stadium that brings folks out to the ball park.
The baseball Giants are against the stadium improvements—not as such, but because of a 50� surcharge the city plans to impose on each ticket to help defray the cost. The Giants are having enough trouble drawing fans as it is. They sued the city, claiming the surcharge was a breach of the contract the Giants signed with San Francisco when the club moved west from New York. The Giants lost their case in Superior Court but plan to appeal. Horace Stoneham, owner of the Giants, commented, "We want the public to be aware that we opposed the additional 506 charge. We think now they'll know it's the city's charge, not ours." Asked if he would move the Giants, Stoneham said, "No, I've never thought of moving our club to another city. But I still don't think the Giants' customers should be asked to pay for football improvements."