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FIRST-EVER WORLD ROLLER HOCKEY LEAGUE FORMED; WALT DISNEY WORLD/DISNEY- MGM STUDIOS AND ESPN TO PLAY KEY SUPPORTING ROLES IN LEAGUE CREATION

 ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- At a press conference held here today, plans were unveiled for the formation of the first World Roller Hockey League (WRHL), created to move street hockey on to the playing fields of the world through organized, televised roller hockey team competition.
 Founded by David McLane, a pioneering force behind professional wrestling in the 1980s, the WRHL will develop, produce and promote professional roller hockey through the performance and marketing of WRHL teams and team merchandise. The new league also will establish the first official rule book of professional roller hockey and become the sanctioning body. McLane's partner in WRHL creation is former Miami Dolphins linebacker Nick Buoniconti.
 Walt Disney World/Disney-MGM Studios will host the WRHL competition, constructing a rink and stadium specifically designed for the new league at the Walt Disney World/Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park in Orlando. There, up to 33 WRHL games will be taped in May 1993 and broadcast weekdays on ESPN from June through August of this year.
 "We intend to take in-line skating to an exciting, new dimension," said WRHL founder McLane. "This is roller hockey as 'America's New Game' -- all-American, clean fun that the entire family can enjoy by watching."
 Eight WRHL teams will be created this spring through the recruitment of 80 roller hockey players from existing amateur leagues and national tryouts held in the Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York and Orlando metropolitan areas.
 Tryouts will begin Wednesday, March 17, at the Holiday Skating Center in Orange, Calif. and Friday, March 19, at the Sherman Square Entertainment Center in Reseda, Calif. Other tryout locations include the Roller Gardens in Minneapolis; The Rink-Montvale in Montvale, N.J.; and the Walt Disney World/Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park in Orlando. Specific tryout dates for these locations are yet to be determined.
 Selected players will form 10-member WRHL teams named the Wave, Blast, Turbos, Express, Titans, Aztecs, Fury and Typhoon. The teams will compete in two divisions and 28 regular season games, with the two best teams from each division competing in a "Best of Five" play-off tournament to determine the WRHL champion.
 Cheerleading tryouts also will be held for men and women in Los Angeles and Orlando this spring. WRHL cheerleaders will be the first all in-line skating dance troupe.
 "In-line skating has become very popular among young adults and children," said Steve Bornstein, ESPN's president and chief executive officer. "We believe that the WRHL telecasts will boost our late- afternoon weekday lineup."
 The WRHL will follow its inaugural season with an exhibition tour. The tour will present player clinics, trade events, in-line skate races, and roller hockey tournament and exhibition programs.
 The WRHL is the latest evolution in the burgeoning in-line skating industry, which today is estimated to exceed $300 million in annual sales. In-line skates were originally introduced in 1980 as an off- season training device for hockey players and are now used by more than 6.2 million Americans. Roller hockey itself is a relatively recent phenomenon, played in a similar fashion as ice hockey, in parking lots, skating rinks, basketball and tennis courts.
 -0- 2/17/93
 /CONTACT: Paul Sewell of WRHL, 612-347-1988; John Story of Walt Disney World, 407-824-4531; or Mike Soltys or Josh Krulewitz of ESPN, 203-585-2000/


CO: World Roller Hockey League; Walt Disney World/Disney-MGM Studios;
 ESPN ST: Florida IN: ENT SU:


MP -- MNW001 -- 7218 02/17/93 10:32 EST
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Feb 17, 1993
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