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HERE WE GO AGAIN
The Montreal Olympic Committee already has received more than 20,000 requests for tickets to the 1976 Games, but the director of spectator services, Maurice Forget, says they are all in vain. "We don't even have a seating plan for the main stadium," he says, "and we won't have one until sometime in the first quarter of 1974." Lest someone think Montreal is being terribly casual about this, Forget adds, "Traditionally, Olympic tickets have not been available until about a year before the Games."
When things are ready, an agency in each of the Olympic nations will be assigned to handle not only ticket sales but housing needs. This is the way Munich did it, and in some areas, notably Britain and the U.S., it created a rather loud stink. It may be the efficient way to deal with the situation in most countries, but in the major tourist powers it could lead to problems like those in 1972, when tickets and rooms for Munich seemed nonexistent for the casual fan without travel-agency ties.
Prices have not been established yet, but officials say it is hoped that "a lot of seats" will be in the $3 and $4 range. But for which sports?
The response of some gun enthusiasts to any effort to establish gun controls reached ridiculous heights in the campaign against, of all people, the Young Women's Christian Association. The YWCA's sin was in coming out for federal gun-control legislation, which does seem rather outside its normal sphere of activity. But if the YWCA's action appeared to be uncalled for, take a look at the other side. Overreacting, such groups as the National Rifle Association, the National Association of Sportsmen, the Northeastern State Council of Sportsmen and various conservation clubs all decided to boycott—what? The YWCA? No. They elected to boycott the United Fund, which includes the YWCA among the organizations to which it distributes financial assistance.
Why? A member of one sportsmen's association explained, "Every month some group of little old ladies in tennis shoes passes a resolution opposing the use of guns. Most we can't do a darn thing about. Here comes one we can do something about."
William Loeb, publisher of the Manchester (N.H.) Union Leader, was in the middle of the pack. Loeb bayed in a front-page editorial: "There have been rumors that the YWCA has been penetrated by certain radical, left-wing forces. Certainly, this stand on gun control, which is quite in line with Communist and Socialist viewpoints, indicates that this rumor may have some validity."
After this remarkable echo of Senator Joe McCarthy's casual methods of indictment, Loeb threatened to withdraw his paper's support of the United Fund, thus by extension also withdrawing support from hospitals, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, the Red Cross and others tarnished by association with the YWCA.