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WHALERS OPTIMISTIC DESPITE LOW EARLY SALES FIGURES

     According to numbers released by the Whalers yesterday, the
team's season ticket drive "would need to produce more than 6,600
new sales in its final eight days to reach its goal of 11,000."
Organizers reported 4,222 sales (2,270 renewals and 1,952 new
sales).  Combining total deposits with a projected 2,130 more
renewals, organizers said the drive total stands at 6,352 --
nearly 58% of the goal.  The HARTFORD COURANT's Michael Arace
reports, "Drives such as this historically produce the biggest
numbers in the final week, and organizers are optimistic that a
late surge can get them to their goal."  Also, for the first
time, Whalers Owner Peter Karmanos said he would consider
extending the May 1 deadline.  Karmanos:  "If we get to 8,000 or
9,000, we'd start to consider an extension."  Most of the
necessary 4,600 in new sales would have to be generated by
corporate buyers, "a big x factor" (HARTFORD COURANT, 4/25).
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