Ace Auto Parks of San Diego has developed a system of speeding cars out of stadium complexes. Using a platoon of traffic directors coordinated from a control tower by walkie-talkie radio, they have managed to hustle 16,000 cars away from the 52,000-seat San Diego Stadium in 45 minutes, or about half the time it normally takes to empty a parking lot of that size.
Since their success in San Diego, the Ace people have been retained by Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto and by the new Texas Stadium in Dallas. One of the fascinating discoveries the organization has made since it began emptying people out of tight places is the variegated plumage of the American stadium bird. The most difficult patrons to deal with, says Ace, are professional football fans, who are described as mean and aggressive, always looking for an opening, always trying to beat the system. The professional baseball fan, on the other hand, is courteous and patient, but tends to be slow in reacting and moving out of the way.
College football devotees, for some reason, pay their parking fees in small change—often in pennies. And drivers at the Billy Graham Crusade that opened the Texas Stadium in September...well, they were very straight arrow. So much so, in fact, that they invariably maintained a single lane of traffic while leaving the parking lot. Even when there were five lanes available.
In case you are looking around for an educational toy for the kids, you might try something called Kenner S.S.P. Smash-Up Derby. The ads say it has all the thrills of a real demolition derby, with snap-on, fly-off parts. The cover of the box has a peachy drawing of a head-on collision, too. Be the first on your block
Tennis achieved the millennium four years ago when the artificial barriers separating professionals and "amateurs" (the word is in quotes because amateurs regularly made a bundle) were torn down and open tennis was launched. But now the International Lawn Tennis Federation, the force behind the classic tournaments at Wimbledon and Forest Hills and the governing body for all players but those known as contract pros, is feuding again with World Championship Tennis, Lamar Hunt's select troupe of top professionals.
Because of jurisdictional disputes, the ILTF and WCT have split. True open tennis embracing all the leading players is due to die an untimely death on Jan. I, when contracts expire. Attempts to negotiate a settlement seem doomed. Last week each side rejected an appeal for a compromise from Rothmans, the British cigarette firm that has been a major sponsor of tournament tennis. "With a modicum of give and take on both sides," says a perturbed Rothmans man, "the differences would have been resolved."
Allan Heyman of London, the ILTF president, was "too busy" in September to go to the U.S. Open Championship at Forest Hills, where Hunt hoped to meet him for a summit conference. Instead Heyman suggested lunch in London, adding, "Any move now must come from WCT and not from us." Hunt was not inclined to move. And neither reacted to Rothmans' appeal.
Foolish. Without the 32 contract pros whom Hunt controls, Wimbledon, Forest Hills and the other ILTF events will become bland affairs, a mockery of the classic tennis tradition they are supposed to epitomize. Without Wimbledon and Forest Hills, pro tennis will never attain the stature it deserves.
SEEDS OF DEFEAT
As Purdue whacked Minnesota 27-13 a couple of weeks ago on lush, green grass that must be the pride of Purdue's agronomists, a disgruntled visitor from Minnesota was heard to complain, "Our boys just can't play on this unartificial turf."