In addition, use of airspace over the stadium may be severely restricted. Pending FAA approval, the only lowflying aircraft that will be allowed within five miles of the stadium during the game will be those carrying ABC cameras or law enforcement officers. Corky White, owner of Sky-Ads, an aerial advertising company, last week estimated that he will lose $40,000 because of the airspace rules, which he called "mass hysteria."
Mass precaution is more like it. "We're going to protect 75,000 people from anything," said stadium manager Rick Nafe. "There will be two or three sets of eyes on you at all times."
SPEAKING OF SPORTS
In talking about the war in the Persian Gulf last week, journalists and military personnel frequently resorted to sports terminology. The most striking example came from ABC correspondent Bob Zelnick, who quoted a Navy source on the accuracy of the Cruise missile: "They say that you could fire one of these Tomahawk Cruise missiles off in Boston Harbor and send it through the goalposts at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., and have a better field goal percentage than Chip Lohmiller."
Lohmiller, the Redskins' kicker, hit 75% of his field goals this year, and though none of them was from as far away as Boston Harbor, they did include a 53-, a 55-and a 56-yarder.
GAME FOR THE GAMES
A group of U.S. journalists and U.S. Olympic Committee officials traveling in Cuba last week received word of the war from an unlikely source: Fidel Castro. El Comandante was making a surprise appearance at a news conference on the Pan American Games, which Cuba is hosting this August, when he was informed that Baghdad was being bombed. Castro duly reported the news, and as he answered subsequent questions about the war, the significance of the quadrennial games faded.
But the Pan Am games are important to Cuba, as indicated by Castro's presence at the press conference. Now that the Soviet Union has severely trimmed its aid, Cuba must turn to other sources to bolster its sagging economy. Tourism is one of those sources, and Cuban officials see the games as a giant step in putting an end to their country's isolation.
So strong is the national commitment that some of Cuba's finest athletes have been helping with the construction. The world-record holder in the high jump, Javier Sotomayer, has pushed wheelbarrows filled with cement at the site of the Estadio Panamericano, and Ana Quirot, the 1990 World Cup champion in the 800 meters, has worked some 30 hours moving rocks. A sign at one of the construction sites in the Pan American village reads (in Spanish): THE FIRST RECORD OF THE PAN AM GAMES WILL BE SET BY THE WORKERS—FIDEL.
Some of the facilities, like the velodrome and the tennis courts, are already completed. Construction at other venues, however, looked hopelessly behind schedule or shoddy. The Estadio Panamericano, which one official said was 96% complete, has rows of concrete seats that sag in the middle. One journalist from the U.S. quipped that it was the only stadium in the world that comes with a built-in Wave.