CISL folds

The Continental Indoor Soccer League announced today that it has ceased operations following the departures of Dallas, Portland and Houston at the end of the 97 season. However, the franchises live on.á Portland and Dallas have joined the newly-formed Premier Soccer Alliance.

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The official press release follows:

LOS ANGELES (December 23, 1997)---The Continental Indoor Soccer League (CISL) announced today that it will cease operations effective immediately. The announcement of the five-year-old league's termination was made by CISL Commissioner/Founder Ron Weinstein.

The CISL's roster of teams included the Anaheim Splash, Arizona Sandsharks, Detroit Safari, Indiana Twisters, Monterrey La Raza, Sacramento Knights, Seattle SeaDogs and Washington Warthogs. The Dallas Sidekicks, Houston Hotshots and Portland Pride had ceased operations since the 1997 season ended in October.

''Obviously this is a sad day for myself and for the entire CISL,'' said Weinstein. ''The remaining owners and myself still firmly believe that the CISL's concept of indoor soccer and the business approach that our league attempted to take gave the sport its best-ever opportunity for fiscal success. Unfortunately, some of our former owners chose to deviate from that path and it unfairly impacted on the other owners. I want to thank our current owners who remained committed to both the CISL and to their fellow owners.

''I certainly want to express my appreciation to our major sponsors like GMC and to FOX Sports Net who gave the CISL national television exposure this past season. Additionally, I want to thank the great fans of the CISL who were very loyal to our league and to the sport of indoor soccer.

''Finally, I want to express my sincere gratitude to every player, coach and administrator who has been involved in the CISL since its inception. Their efforts towards furthering the CISL and the sport of indoor soccer were very much appreciated.''

The CISL was founded in 1992 and officially began operations on November 1, 1992. The league's first season of play was 1993 when it fielded seven teams. Eleven franchises competed during the 1997 campaign. Four of the CISL's current owners also own NBA and NHL franchises including Barry Ackerley (Seattle SuperSonics), William Davidson (Detroit Pistons), Abe Pollin (Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals) and Jim Thomas (Sacramento Kinds).

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