Jordan a no-show for Scorpion finale

The Associated Press

CHANDLER — The sign posted outside the stadium read: “Michael Jordan will not appear today.”

Some glanced at their tickets, shrugged and continued into Compadre Stadium. Others paused to debate whether watching the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League without Jordan was worth the trip. Many simply walked away Thursday, knowing their chance to see the superstar would not come again.

Jordan already was heading to Chicago for a prior engagement. He left the Phoenix area a day before the Scorpions met the Chandler Diamondbacks in their regular-season finale, causing a noticeable drop in attendance.

“We’re not going to make a ton of money today,” said ticket manager Bruce Culver, adding he’d seen about a 60-40 split between fans who stayed and those who left.

Those who stayed had mixed reactions to Jordan’s absence.

“We pretty much came here to see Michael,” said Jack Bennett, a visitor from St. Louis. “But even if Michael’s not here, I’ll still enjoy it.”

Not so for 11-year-old Lance Howard, whose mother took him out of school in Phoenix to catch the game.

Decked out in a No. 23 Chicago Bulls jersey, the boy struggled to voice his disappointment.

“I can’t say it. There are too many cuss words involved,” he said.

There was no denying that Jordan’s presence gave new life to the league this season, boosting ticket sales from last year’s total of 35,568 to more than 100,000.

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