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CAROLINAS NFL TICKET DRIVE RECEIVES 41,632 FIRST-DAY ORDERS; RICHARDSON SPORTS SEES 'HISTORY IN THE MAKING'

 CHARLOTTE, N.C., July 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Calling the response "history in the making," Richardson Sports today announced it received 41,632 orders for Permanent Seat Licenses (PSLs) on the first day of the campaign to raise $150 million to privately finance the Carolinas 72,300-seat NFL stadium.
 "The response was phenomenal, but it's important we realize this is just the beginning of a campaign to sell out the stadium by Sept. 3 and send an unmistakable message to the NFL owners that this is the NFL market of the `90s," said Mark S. Richardson, general manager of Richardson Sports, which is seeking to bring an NFL expansion team to the Carolinas.
 More Than $45 Million Raised
 The first-day response left 20,442 PSLs to be sold. About another 1,000 more seat orders have been received since July 1, the day the ticket drive officially began. With PSL purchasers putting down deposits of one-third to one-half the PSL fee, some $45 million was collected, representing $103 million in first-day commitments. Since some sections are oversubscribed, this number may change to some degree depending on final placement of purchasers in oversubscribed sections. In addition, prior to the start of the ticket campaign all 102 luxury suites, representing $9.6 million in annual revenue, were purchased or reserved in only 12 days.
 Richardson said four sections -- A, B, G and Club 3 -- were oversubscribed on the first day AND SHOULD NOT BE ORDERED BY NEW APPLICANTS. All but 158 of Club 1 were sold on the first day and less than 900 Club 2 seats remained.
 "The best opportunities now seem to be sections E, C, D and F in that order," said Richardson. "Our stadium is going to be the greatest football facility in the world and people should remember there are no bad seats."
 Max Muhleman, whose 20-year-old sports marketing firm is the managing consultant to the Richardsons, said Charlotte's response probably ranks second only to the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles in terms of successful opening sales for a U.S. sports effort.
 "People Sense Something Special ..."
 "This is history in the making," said Muhleman, whose firm was also the managing consultant in the campaign to win the Hornets. "People sense something special is happening and they want to be a part of it. Coupled with the unsolicited response to the suites, this is clearly one of the most successful ticket subscription campaigns in the history of sports.
 "The volume of instant response and dollars subscribed almost certainly is unequalled in professional sports," Muhleman added. "The $45 million in deposits of one-third to one-half of total commitments means over a $103 million of our total target of $150 million has been subscribed on day one, plus a sell-out of the 102 suites. We feel this first-day response strongly indicates that we will be able to sell all the PSLs before the NFL's Sept. 3 deadline."
 To raise money to finance its stadium, Richardson Sports is selling PSLs, which give the purchaser the right to permanently control that seat and purchase NFL season tickets. It's designed to raise $150 million of which $100 million after taxes will be used to pay for the stadium in central Charlotte. Richardson Sports will provide the additional $60 million for the spectacular blue, black and silver $160 million stadium.
 Richardson urged those making applications to submit second and third choices to assure they receive seats. Richardson added buyers will begin being notified of their section "as soon as possible" and processing due to volume is taking "a few days longer than anticipated."
 "The very careful processing of these applications is a monumental task," he said, adding seat assignment would begin after the NFL announces Oct. 26th which two of the five competing cities will receive franchises.
 -0- 7/7/93
 /CONTACT: Dan Lohwasser, Muhleman Marketing, 704-568-2520, for Richardson Sports/


CO: Richardson Sports; Muhleman Marketing ST: North Carolina, South Carolina IN: ENT SU:

CM -- CH005 -- 9190 07/07/93 16:31 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 7, 1993
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