Philadelphia Daily News from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 15, 1983 · Page 54
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Philadelphia Daily News from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania · Page 54

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Friday, July 15, 1983
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Page 54
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54 Friday. July IS, 1983 . Philadelphia Daily New. , , , . , mrirrpvT v7zn rrz rsrsTTrvn? fZ.T r r7nTn One-tank trips to see all your favorite sport ..." i "... . 4 ""c. J .ffj.L .mr t i 5-: "Si" i k 11 r '"" v. - 1 By LEWIS SCALE Special to the Daily News The way things are going. Philadelphia is starting ti look like Sports City, USA. The flyers, Phillies, Sixers and Stars are winners, the fans diehards, and, according to a survey undertaken by Variety, the voice of the entertainment industry, Philadetphians buy more tickets to professional sporting events than any other city in the country. New York and LA. included. But there's a small cloud in this silver lining. Philly may be a great town for spectator sports, but not every spectator sport can be seen in Philly. There are some top-notch athletic contests, amateur and professional, that can be seen only if a fanatic is willing to jump into a car and drive for an hour or two. So. for those ho might be surfeited with the "usual." and are lotiking for something a wee bit different to do this summer, what follows is a quick rundown of some sporting events that are less than a one-tank round-trip drive from the City of Champions. A Kick in the Grass Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, but the pro version laid a big bomb in the Delaware Valley (Remember the Atoms? The Fury?). Not so in the New York area, where the Cosmos are not only the pride of the North American Soccer League, but one of the world's most famous teams. With superstars such as Franz "der Kaiser" Betkenbauer and Giorgio Chinagha. the Cosmos play an exciting, offense-oriented game at Giants Stadium in the Meadow lands sports complex, the huge stadium just up the New Jersey Turnpike. The Cosmos regularly play before fanatical and soccer-knowledgeable crowds of 30,000 or more, which usually are composed of the most interesting ethnic mix since Noah stocked the Ark. Brazilians. Ilispanics. Germans. Africans and Italians are steady patrons, and the linguistic mix is such that youTI think you're attending a I' ni ted Nations' picnic The stadium itself adds to the show, with its enormous replay screen, perfect viewing from almost any angle and easy access. This is the big time, soccer style. Tickets to Cosmos games cost $12. $7 and $4. Tickets can be charged by calling 800-223-0120. Further information about the games can be obtained by phoning the Cosmos' New York office, 212-2658600. Upcoming games include; TuLsa. July 17. at 7 p m ; Seattle, July 20. 9 p m.; San Diego. Aug 3. 9 p m.; Montreal. Aug. H. 7 p m ; Chicago. Aug 21.7 p m; Tampa. Aug. 28.7 p m ; and Toronto. Sept. 2. 8 p.m. To reach Giants Stadium, just head north on the New Jersey Turnpike to Exit 16W. then follow the signs to the Meadowlands. 'Round & 'Round Another sport that's big overseas but decidedly minor league in the States is bicycle racing. In Europe, the Tour de France (seen in part 4-6 p m. Sunday on Channel 10 s "CBS Sports Sunday"), the month-long road race around France, is one of the biggest sports events of the year. Here, it rates about as much newspaper space as George Stembrenner's latest temper tantrum. The folks at the Lehigh County Velodrome would like you to know, however, that real bicycle racing is alive and well, just an hour's drive to the north. The Velodrome, a large concrete oval located just outside of Allen-town, has been in business for several years and has hosted everything from amateur kibitzing to major international biking events. ' L ; '' I See bicycle races at the Velodrome near Allentown Franz BeckenbauR Cosmos star There are all sorts of bicycle races, including team and individuals events, time trials and something called the Madison a team event that requires special bike-handling skills and exceptional speed in the frequent sprints. The Velodrome tends to add to the excitement of all these events, since it is relatively small, putting the spectator practically in the middle of the whooshing, high speed bicycle traffic. If you think that an afternoon spent pedaling on the East River Drive is all there is to the Schwinn syndrome, you aint seen nothing until you've seen the top talent at the Velodrome. The Lehigh County Velodrome is located in Trexlertown, just west of Allentown. ope block west of the intersection of routes 222 and 100. Races are held every Friday night during the summer. Gates open at 6 IS pm. with the program beginning at 7.30. Tickets range from SI to S3. The Velodrome also is open for public use almost every afternoon. For further information, call 1965930. Gas and Go Vroooommmr One sport that's sever had trouble attracting fans and media attention is auto racing. Pocono Raceway, located two hours north in Long Pond, Pa ." is one of the premier auto and motorcycle racing venues in the country. The track is enormous and hosts everything from major Grand Prix events to good oT boy stock car fandangos. These events usually attract huge crowds, and are fun not only because of the flat-out excitement of the races, but the social nature of the spectators. Although Pocono features a race almost every summer weekend, the Big Daddy of them all is the Domino's Pizza 500. coming up on Sunday. Aug. 11 This race, described as "the third jewel in Indy Car racing's Triple Crown." has been won in the past by such auto heavyweights as AJ. Foyt and Al and Bobby L'nser. Tickets for the race range from $10 up to $100. and you're adv ised to get them early, since this event attracts the biggest crowds of the year. Other events coming up at Pocono include the lake Cola 500. July 22-24. for stock cars; the Pocono Sports Car Grand Prix. July 30-31: the Bobtail 500. Aug. 27-28. for "big rig" trucks (this race has to be seen to be believed), and the Camel GT 500 Grand Prix, Sept. 9-1 1, which will feature races for vintage cars, and an endurance race for exotic vehicles. To get to Pocono Raceway, just take the Northeast extension of the Pennsylvania Turn- er. the team is always a contender in the American League East. The Baltimore fans are knowledgeable and vocal, and if you remember Wild Bill llagy leading his famous O-R-I-O-L-E-S cheer during the 1979 World Series (the ultimate in fanatic body language), then you know that Orioles games classify as theater, as well as sport. Adding to the ambience down in Maryland are the food products available at the concession stands, which tend to make Vet Stadium fare look like leftovers from a Calcutta garbage can. .We're talkin' crabcakes (the local specialty), nachos, barbecue, pizza and even sac re bleu! wine, sold at the ballpark for disgustingly reasonable prices. Good baseball and the opportunity to pig out; cant beat it. . Tickets to Orioles games range from 54 25 (general admissiom) to $8.50 (field boxes). Upcoming games include: July 1517. California; July 29-31. Texas; Aug. 5-6. Chicago; and Aug. 8-10. Cleveland. For more information on games and ticket prices, call 301-338-1300. You also can charge tickets by phone by dialing 800-638-2444. To reach Memorial Stadium, follow Route 95 south until you reach the Baltimore Beltway. Route 695. Take 695 toward Towson and York until you reach the exit for Lock Raven Boulevard. Follow Lock Raven Blvd. 3-5 miles to the stadium. pike to Exit 35. then 180 East to Pa. 115 South. Since prices for the races vary, it's best to call the raceway (717-646-2300) for specific ticket information. Green Grass of Home It's said in baseball circles that if God had intended America's pastime to be played on . anything other than grass, then on the seventh day he would have created Astroturf. The fact is. baseball was played on the real thing for years. before some cost -conscious stadium managers decided that a dyed greed petroleum derivative could give the illusion of grass while providing the solidity of concrete. It's not good for the players physically, and has turned a lot of National League ballparks into a sophisticated version of a Pong game. Over in most American League ballparks, however, they still play on grass, which makes the baseball experience more real, more fun. and somehow more wholesomely American. Just check out Baltimore's Memorial Stadium, home of the high-flying Orioles, and you'll see what we mean. The stadium is cozy (it scats just more than 50.000 spectators), the balls bounce like the laws ot physics meant them to, and the Birds can run. hit and pitch with the best of them. The Birds can boast, in fact, the best record in baseball in the past quarter-century, and with stars such a; Eddu Murray and Jim Palm- -

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