SBD/June 15, 2012/Franchises

Colts, Panthers Get Large Crowds For Open Practices, Both Seeing Increase In Ticket Sales

Colts fans turn out for one of their first glimpses of new QB Andrew Luck
A crowd "estimated at 7,500 turned out to watch the Colts' Wednesday practice at Lucas Oil Stadium," according to Phil Richards of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. Colts COO Pete Ward said that the club "sold 260 season tickets" during the event. Available seats "were marked and fans were given the opportunity to try them out." The Colts came into June "with 3,500 unsold season tickets, but that number has been pared to about 2,100, nearly all of which are upper-level seats priced at $690." Asked if the Colts might consider conducting a minicamp practice at the stadium annually, Ward said, "Would love to do that each year but it just depends on stadium availability corresponding with the new 'weekday' minicamp dates" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 6/15).

THE CAT'S MEOW: In Charlotte, Joseph Person notes the Panthers also held an open minicamp practice, and the team "estimated Thursday's crowd at 5,500, including 1,000 sponsors." Many in attendance "were treated to free footballs as players tossed them to fans following big plays." Panthers coach Ron Rivera, who came up with the idea, said that "it might become an annual tradition" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 6/15). WBTV-CBS' Dedrick Russell noted event organizers said that "it will be hard not to do this again next year." Fans were allowed into Bank of America Stadium for free, and Panthers President Danny Morrison said, "I was amazed how many came from long distance." The Panthers said that "the momentum is high" and ticket sales "are better this year than last year" (WBTV.com, 6/14).
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