DALLAS’ TORNADO WARNING

As recently as four years ago, the proponents of professional soccer were insisting the Dallas Tornado would become the area’s consuming sports interest in the Eighties, pushing the Cowboys and the Rangers back to Page 4 of the sports sections.

Now, after stumbling through the longest losing streak in the history of the North American Soccer League, there is a distinct possibility the Dallas Tornado might become the Shreveport Tornado or the Topeka Tornado. A recent game at Texas Stadium attracted a crowd of 2700, the smallest attendance at a Tornado game since the team played at tiny Franklin Field on the campus of Hillcrest High School.

In 1977, the Tornado attracted an average crowd of 16,511 at Ownby Stadium. This season, the average paid attendance has been 5100, and even that is a little misleading since over 10,000 were attracted to the first two games this year.

A source said owner Lamar Hunt and his partner, Bill McNutt, are “rethinking their investment. You can only pour money down a hole that keeps getting deeper and darker for only so long.”

Even if the Tornado remains in the Dallas area for another season, it’s almost certain the team will abandon Texas Stadium.

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