July 25, 1974
By Marty Twersky
The Philadelphia Bell, which built a paper house of 55,534 customers opening night against Portland, with an alleged turnaway of 5,000 cars at the gate, has built another paper giant for tonight's game. Expected attendance is 35,000 to 40,000.
"If it's a nice night and with the Phillies out of town, we could go big," says club vice president Barry Leib. "We have presold 30,000 tickets but we have been a lot harder this time on our block price tickets."
A breakdown of first game attendance revealed there were 10,000 total freebies, mostly to charitable organizations, 6,2000 season ticket holders, 20,000 group discount tickets and 5,000 seats sold in the two dollar general admission section at Kennedy Stadium.
One company, which has bought a block of 1,300 tickets for each game, reveals that it has paid the Bell $5,000 for the season, or approximately, 25 cents per ticket.
The visiting team, the Portland Storm, chose however, to take home 25 percent of the gate rather than the $20,000 they were entitled to under league rules.
"These first two games our aim is to build a following," Leib says. "Now, I'm sure that by the second quarter of the first game we had made some Bell fans. What we want from this is to build a following and hopefully the people will start turning out without any kind of discounts."
The Bell offices were quiet most of the week, and Ticketron offices announced medium sales. But you can expect an attendance of 50,000.
"I'm keeping my fingers crossed," Leib said. "It could be very surprising for everyone.
Jane Chastain will help telecast tonight's nationally beamed game (excluding Philadelphia) believed to be the first woman to air a pro game.
"I'll just try to be myself," says Jane, who has years in the business and runs a syndicated sports show from Miami, Florida. "Alex Hawkins knows the game of football and he's a terrific analyst. My job, as I see it, is to try to give these players some personality. People want to know about these guys as human beings."