The limited spectator appeal of track is evident on the other side of the country, too. The Philadelphia Track Classic was bumped from a preferred Friday night date at the Spectrum and had to settle for a Monday. The Monday that was assigned—Jan. 28—seemed safe enough: there would be no basketball or hockey games that night, at any rate. Then someone realized it was the night of the Frazier-Ali heavyweight fight, and the Spectrum is a choice site for closed-circuit TV. In a spirit of cooperation, or perhaps desperation, the Track Classic moved up its starting time to get the meet over before the fight began.
Only 4,800 tickets (priced at $5 and $6) will be sold for the track meet, all of them in advance. The remaining 10,000 (at $10 and $15) will be saved for fight fans. Those who attend the track meet can remain for the fight, which makes the track ticket an impressive bargain. Even so, because Philadelphia fight-fans traditionally buy tickets at the gate, few arc expected to shell out for track tickets ahead of time.