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Fans Angered by Decision to Stop Broadcast Outside Stadium

January 29, 1996

TEMPE (AP) _ Thousands of out-of-state football fans were infuriated Sunday by stadium officials’ decision to stop broadcasting the game from a 20-foot screen outside the stadium.

Karen Mahovlic drove three days from Pittsburgh to Tempe and vowed to never return to Arizona.

``We’re going to drive out of state tonight. We’re not even going to stay here,″ she said.

``I took my daughter out of school. I said you’d have the memories forever,″ said Twila Moreau. ``Now she’ll have the memories of not seeing the game″ she said of her seventh-grader.

The two women were among the fans outside Sun Devil Stadium who watched the first quarter on a massive screen before game officials stopped the broadcast and replaced it with advertisements.

A security guard for Contemporary Services Corp. said game officials wanted to thin out the crowd.

When the broadcast stopped, fans kicked cans, swore and chanted ``Turn it on″ to no avail.

``They felt there were too many people, but the crowd was fine. When there started being problems was when they shut it off,″ said Sue Dusold, a security guard for Contemporary Services.

When the video was stopped, the fans poured into neighboring businesses in search of televisions.


Hot items being bought outside Sun Devil Stadium included floppy ``Cat in the Hat″ style hats in blue and silver or black and gold, terrible towels and foam ``steelhead″ hats.

Pittsburgh fans were more likely to wear the floppy hats, said Jerry Montanino, a hat vendor from Provo, Utah.

He theorized it was because Pittsburgh fans were more ``aggressive.″

``Pittsburgh fans want to show their support more,″ said Montanino. ``They are more rowdy when they are induced with alcohol.″

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