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 AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The Continental Indoor Soccer League (CISL) has awarded an expansion franchise to Detroit for the 1994 season. The Detroit Neon will play its home games beginning this summer at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
 The team is owned by William Davidson, owner of The Palace, Pine Knob Music Theatre and managing partner of the Detroit Pistons. Davidson joins an already impressive list of NBA owners involved with the CISL. Among the owners are Jerry Colangelo (Phoenix Suns), Jim Thomas (Sacramento Kings), Donald Carter (Dallas Mavericks) and Abe Pollin (Washington Bullets).
 As president of The Palace, Tom Wilson will oversee all responsibilities of running the team. "We have been intrigued by the fast-paced action and excitement of indoor soccer and have kept our eye on the sport. The solid ownership base of the CISL franchises, along with the fact that these teams have big league marketing and support staffs, presented us with a great situation of our involvement. Solid owners, solid marketing and a truly exciting sport for our patrons to watch."
 In a unique sports marketing partnership, Chrysler lends its support as a title sponsor of the team. The team is named after Chrysler's award-winning automobile, the Neon. The Detroit Neon is unique in that it is thought to be the first major league professional sports franchise in the United States named after a major corporation's product.
 Ron Weinstein, commissioner of the CISL, has had more than 90 inquiries regarding expansion into the league for 1994. The CISL expects to have 14-16 teams for the upcoming season. "Due to the overwhelming popularity of professional sports in Detroit," said Weinstein, "the CISL is very excited about expanding to this area."
 The CISL schedule will be released no later than Feb. 15. Each team is scheduled to play 28 games (14 home, 14 away) running from June 10 through Sept. 17, followed by playoff competition. Teams will have a maximum roster of 20 players, with 13 in uniform for each game.
 The CISL, unlike other sports leagues, requires its teams to field at least 50 percent local players, promoting community involvement. "Now, young soccer players have a goal to shoot for knowing they may have a shot at making the 'big league' club in their hometown," said Weinstein. This will inspire the more than 40,000 registered Michigan Youth Soccer Association players to greater heights.
 The league draft, including an expansion draft, is set for mid- April. The Neon's first home game is scheduled for the weekend of June 10.
 "The new team will give us an element that is often missing in professional sports today," said Wilson, "affordable family fun."
 The Detroit Neon is presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
 The Palace and Pine Knob are owned and operated by Arena Associates, Inc. Voted "Arena of the Year" by Performance magazine five consecutive years since opening in 1988 and twice by Pollstar magazine, The Palace hosts approximately 185 events annually and has attracted more than 12.5 million patrons to date. In its third year under the management of The Palace, Pine Knob Music Theatre averages more than 80 shows and attracts in excess of 600,000 patrons each summer.
 -0- 1/13/94
 /CONTACT: Jeff Corey of The Palace of Auburn Hills, 313-337-8204/

CO: The Palace of Auburn Hills; Arena Associates, Inc.; The Continental
 Indoor Soccer League ST: Michigan IN: SU:

KT -- DE028 -- 1892 01/13/94 16:35 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 13, 1994

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