CyberRays, WUSA cease operations

September 15, 2003 - Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) - San Jose CyberRays News Release

SAN JOSE (Sept. 15, 2003) – The San Jose CyberRays and the Women’s United Soccer Association / WUSA will cease operations immediately.

WUSA founder and chairman John Hendricks made the announcement this morning because of a $20 million revenue shortfall for 2004 for which there was no source of funding.

``We looked at the ways you could possibly bridge $20 million in an annual deficit, but mathematically you simply can't get there ticket sales in any reasonable timeframe,’’ Hendricks said in a media conference call. ``You can't get there by merchandise sales either. The missing ingredient we had was corporate sponsorship.’’

Marlene Bjornsrud, CyberRays general manager, said ``This decision obviously comes after a great deal of soul-searching on the part of our investors and it does not come without a high amount of heart-wrenching pain. I, for one, am choosing to see this decision as a detour rather than a dead end. It cannot mean the end of professional women’s soccer in this country and cannot impact how professional women’s sports are viewed. Many women are born to play their sport just like many men are. The absence of opportunity to play that sport as a professional is just not acceptable in the day and age in which we live. So we hold our heads high today, knowing that we have made a positive impact on our community and knowing that, although our organization will become invisible, our dream will live on.’’

CyberRays fans who had placed deposits on their 2004 season tickets will be contacted, and their money will be returned.

The CyberRays were one of the eight teams established in 2000 with the founding of the league and won the inaugural season championship in 2001. Bjornsrud was the team’s original staffer and it was she who put together the organization that drew 223,670 fans to Spartan Stadium over three home seasons.

The folding of the CyberRays will result in the loss of approximately 35 jobs including those of 20 professional soccer players.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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