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A Fix for Sports Junkies : A 12-day festival with everything from slam dunks to slap shots begins Monday at Magic Mountain.

July 16, 1993|DAVID WHARTON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The hockey season has melted away. Basketball is but a memory. And baseball is napping in the long summer before the pennant races heat up.

Where can a sports junkie get a fix?

Magic Mountain--an unlikely source--provides a burst of sports mania during the final two weeks of July, playing host to the Sports Illustrated Sports Festival.

The 12-day event, which begins Monday and continues through July 30, brings two football fields' worth of athletic contests and exhibits to the Valencia amusement park. There will be everything from slam dunks to slap shots to video games.

In addition, local sports stars will be on hand to offer sporting tips.

Opening day features a morning appearance by several of the Los Angeles Kings, including owner Bruce McNall and player Mark Hardy. At 2 p.m., Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Steve Garvey will head a cast of sports legends representing Athletes & Entertainers for Kids, a charity group that is bringing 200 disadvantaged children to the park each day of the festival.

On following days, players and cheerleaders from the Rams, Clippers, Lakers and Raiders will make appearances. The Dodgers, with the National League East-leading Philadelphia Phillies in town, have enough on their hands and won't be in attendance.

The festivities take place in an area behind the Psyclone roller coaster, where Sports Illustrated will assemble its field of dreams:

* The NFL Magic exhibit gives fans a chance to kick field goals through regulation-size goal posts, catch passes from a throwing machine and run a timed 40-yard dash.

* Those who want to be like Mike can execute Jordanesque maneuvers at the NBA Jam Session. Cameras will capture fans in the act of slam-dunking and provide a videotape to bring home or burn, depending on how you look above the rim.

* Ice heads who still haven't settled down after the Kings' run to the Stanley Cup finals can use some of that excess energy to shoot slap shots past a goalie in the Hockey Action exhibit.

* For the more refined sportsman, Golfing Games provides a putting green and sand traps. Other exhibits involve kicking soccer balls and whacking Nerf baseballs.

Of course, some fans prefer to keep their heart rate at a snail's pace. They can opt for the memorabilia exhibits sponsored by the National Football League and the National Basketball Assn., or the Screen Testing Booth, where they can call the play-by-play for some of sports' greatest moments, or visit one of three tents filled with Sega video games.

This traveling festival is scheduled to appear at all of Six Flags' amusement parks across the country. It opened last month in Atlanta and will continue on to St. Louis, Chicago and Jackson, N.J.

Where and When Location: Sports Illustrated Sports Festival at Six Flags Magic Mountain, Magic Mountain Parkway, Valencia. Hours: Noon to 8 p.m., Monday through July 30. The park opens at 10 a.m. daily. Closing hours vary. Price: $27 for adults, $15 for children shorter than 48 inches, $17 for seniors over 55. The sports festival is included in admission price to the park. Parking is $5. Call: (805) 255-4111.

Teaming Up Kings Day and sports legends, Monday. Rams Day, Tuesday: Anthony Newman and Michael Stewart. Clippers Day, Thursday: the Clipper Spirit cheerleaders. Lakers Day, July 23: Michael Cooper and Nick Van Exel. Raiders Day, July 25: Mike Davis and Mike Haynes.

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