Tacoma Stars Fold; Only Six Teams Left In Msl
TACOMA - The Tacoma Stars folded yesterday, leaving the Major Soccer League with six teams.
Stan Naccarato, executive vice president and general manager, who joined the franchise in November, said the operation was being closed at the end of business yesterday but could be revived if a buyer emerges.
He said he had received inquiries but no offers.
"This group is tapped out," Naccarato said. "They have put $4 million into this operation in the past four years."
Debts amount to less than $250,000, practically all of which should wind up being be paid, he said.
"The losses for the club are the least they've been" since the current owners took over, Naccarato said. He said the league was the largest creditor.
Principal investors in the franchise were Al Meier, who recently sold a string of building supply stores; Charles Brown, who owns two golf courses, and Fred Enslow, a labor lawyer, Naccarato said.
Lack of a nearby rival - the closest was the San Diego Sockers, more than 1,200 miles to the south - hurt the club's promotional efforts, he said.
The league's other teams are the Wichita Wings, St. Louis Storm, Dallas Sidekicks, Baltimore Blast and Cleveland Crunch.
The first version of the Stars was founded in 1983 to compete in what was then called the Major Indoor Soccer League.
That franchise collapsed on July 8, 1988. A new one under the old name was granted after 28 investors agreed to support the operation a few days later as the financially ailing league was reconstituted.
Last summer Stars Coach Keith Weller spent five days on a 30-foot platform to dramatize the franchise's goal of selling 4,000 season tickets as a condition for remaining in business. He came down after sales reached 3,600.
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