Originally created 07/12/97

Thrashers have 5,300 season ticket-holders for opener



ATLANTA (AP) - The Atlanta Thrashers have received 5,300 season-ticket reservations over the past two weeks, almost half of the 12,000 season-tickets that the NHL expects its four new expansion teams to sell.

The Thrashers, who are scheduled to start play in 1999, are taking $100 deposits that can be refunded if fans are not satisfied with prices and seat locations, which will be determined later.

"We're very pleased with the strong response, but we still have a ways to go," team spokesman Greg Hughes said. "Fans can still get in on the ground floor of a new arena that will seat close to 20,000."

The Thrashers, owned by Turner Sports, which also owns the major league Atlanta Braves and the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA, will play in an arena that will be built in downtown Atlanta to replace the Omni, which was the home of the Hawks and is being demolished to make way for the new building.