Ok, well since I was the last Equipment Manager for the New Orleans Storm (1998) and was the Assistant Director of Media and Public Relations for the New Orleans Gamblers (1997), I feel that I am the only person here who can shed some light on the subject. When the Gamblers began in 1993, they were a thrid division team within the USISL. They play at Pan American Stadium in City Park. Now in the seasons that they played at PanAm, they drew fairly well. For the majority of games, they sold out. Then when the owner of the team secided to make the jump to the A-League in 1997, we had some major financial problems. We made the move to Tad Gormley Stadium. We went from seating 2,000 at PanAm to averaging just over 1,000 in a stadium that sat over 24,000. Now did we expect 24,000 a game? Hell no. However, we thought that we'd average about 5,000. That would get us to the break-even point and we would be able to make payroll for the players. In that same 1997 season, we had the best team in the league. With Stern John and Mickey Trotman running up front, we were virtually unstopable. Before Sternie came to us in a trade, we were six matches under .500, losers of 4 in a row with an average of under a goal a match. Upon Stern's arrival, we went on a seventeen match winning streak. We played well in the U.S. Open Cup which allowed us to advance to the quarterfinals against the Dallas Burn. That match, becuase of the demand of tickets and the desire to play on grass as opposed to turf, was moved to Zephyr Field in Metairie. When we stepped out onto the pitch for the match, the stadium was sold out. The promotion for the match was ran by the Zephyrs and U.S. Soccer. And eventhough we lost, we won. Won in the sense that we proved that soccer could work in the New Orleans area. We finished that season as the number two seeded team in the conference. We won our opening round series and lost to Milwaukee in the next round. Then at the end of the 1997 season, we were sold to Rob Couhig, the owner of the Z's, for $2 million. That's when things really got cooking. In the '98 season, we had a really good side. We struggled at times, but still made it to the U.S. Open Cup and the A-League playoffs, loosing in the second round to San Diego. Also that season, we hosted the semi-finals of the U.S. Open Cup. I assisted the folks from U.S. Soccer with the set-up of the stadium, practice pitch, amd match pitch. The four teams that played were Chicago, D.C., Dallas, and Columbus. We sold the place out. So hopes were high. What the public did not know was that we were hemoraging money badly. Couhig lost interest, so did the employees of the stadium and the team, and the fans for that matter. The Storm went on to play another season before shutting it down in 1999. The Gamblers/Storm did something that I do not think has never been done in professional sports, that is make the playoffs in every season of it's existance. From 1993 to 1999, the Storm won more matches than any team in pro soccer in the U.S. And I am proud to say to say that I was a part of it. The point of this whole thing is that I do feel that soccer could surrvive in NOLA, if it is done the right way. There has never been an oversaturation of professional sports in New Orleans, and more than likely never will. The "high school stadium" that was referred to hosted the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials in 1996. And since the storm, has been redone thanks in large part to Reggie Bush and Addidas. That stadium, although maybe to big for soccer, is still the perfect place for it. Personally, if there wuold be a team placed there, I'd like to see it called New Orleans United SC. That's my two cents. Aloha!