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NBA PLAYOFFS

Stern Predicts Clippers Will Move Next Year

May 08, 1997|MARK HEISLER

MIAMI — Commissioner David Stern predicted Wednesday that the Clippers will announce a move to a new arena by the end of the 1997-98 season.

"We have Houston building a new arena," Stern said before Wednesday night's Knick-Heat game, "we have Toronto building that new arena, we have the Clippers--we just have the Clippers, that's all, playing in the Sports Arena. I don't know what else to say.

" . . . I would expect that within the next season, I'm going to step out and say that some arrangements will be made for that team to be playing in another arena in the future, whether it's by construction plan or a move. I think we're now into a mode where, at the end of next season, if there were something that were not decided, I would be very disappointed."

Last season in the Sports Arena, the Clippers claimed an average of just over 8,800 a game--55% of capacity in a league that plays to over 90%. They were far behind the No. 28 team, the 76ers, who played to 73% of capacity.

However, for six dates in the Pond of Anaheim, they averaged over 15,000 per game.

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