In Raleigh, Chip Alexander notes the Hurricanes unveiled a new ticket package this week called the "Jeff Skinner Five-Game Plan." The package “includes tickets to five home games, plus a personalized and autographed photo” of Skinner. The deal also includes a “chance to have dinner at the RBC Center” with the Hurricanes player. Hurricanes President & GM Jim Rutherford said, "He's a very marketable guy. There's always that fine line when you're dealing with a young player of how far you take that, but we don't really have to do a lot of the marketing. He's such a success story” (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 10/7).
GETTING STOKED: Stoke City is the only EPL club “to have improved their average crowds this season,” with attendance “up from 26,858 last season to 27,532 this year.” The team's three home games “so far have been 'glamour' ties against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United, but Stoke are optimistic about the current trend.” Stoke Chair Tony Scholes said that team execs “work hard to keep the cost down, having frozen season ticket prices for four years running.” Meanwhile, Aston Villa's league average “has slumped by more than 5,000 to 32,022,” while Wolverhampton’s home gates “are down 3,000 to 24,670” (THISISSTAFFORDSHIRE.co.uk, 10/6).
WEATHER THE STORM: With Arsenal off to its worst start to an EPL season in 58 years, CEO Ivan Gazidis said that the club “would be able to weather a year without Champions League qualification if it ever happened.” Gazidis said, "We would rather qualify for it but we have got a really stable model that could not just cope but do well and compete." He also “dismissed concerns expressed by some Arsenal fans that the club need a short term injection of funds in order to maintain their place among the European elite before UEFA's new financial fair play rules take effect” (GUARDIAN, 10/7).
HOT ON THE MARKET: Lions President Tom Lewand said that it “took about four minutes for the Lions to sell out the 2,000 standing-room tickets they put on sale” on Thursday for the team’s “MNF” game against the Bears. Tickets went on sale at 1:00pm ET “for $50 each, with a limit of four per transaction and customer” (FREEP.com, 10/6).