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Tacoma’s WCHL Team Shutting Down

April 7, 2002

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) _ The Tacoma Sabercats, struggling with low attendance and financial losses, are suspending operations and quitting the West Coast Hockey League.

``In spite of everybody’s best efforts, the bottom line is we’re not even close to being a viable business,″ owner Barry Kemp said. ``We lost 10 times the amount of money we projected to lose this year.″

The Sabercats lost about $750,000 since Kemp purchased the team from Canadian businessman Bruce Taylor a year ago, The News-Tribune of Tacoma reported, citing league sources.

Attempts to boost attendance with increasing marketing and game-presentation budgets failed.

Attendance had fallen so low that Tacoma Dome director Mike Combs said there was no way to develop a new lease that would allow both the team and the Dome to meet expenses.

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