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MIGHTY DUCKS NOTEBOOK / ROBYN NORWOOD : Opener Will Get National Exposure

The Mighty Ducks’ debut will be televised nationally by ESPN2, a cable sports network that will begin broadcasting this fall, ESPN has announced.

Locally, the regular-season opener will be seen on KCAL Channel 9. ESPN2 will black out the game in the Ducks’ market and provide alternate programming.

The opener, against the Detroit Red Wings on Oct. 8 at Anaheim Arena, might be the only time a national television audience sees the Ducks play during the first half of the season. The Kings are scheduled to be on ESPN three times and on ESPN2 twice during the first half, though the games will be blacked out in Southern California in favor of Prime Ticket broadcasts. The only other Duck game that might be broadcast is a road game Dec. 30 against the Washington Capitals, an alternate game on ESPN2.

ESPN and ESPN2 combined will televise more than 150 NHL games this season.

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Single-game and multi-game package tickets for the Ducks will go on sale in September, marking the first time tickets will be available to fans unwilling or unable to pay for season tickets or other premium seating.

Season ticket sales are approaching 12,000, and about half of club seats and two-thirds of the 84 luxury suites have been sold. Bill Holford, director of sales and marketing, said he expects sales to pick up now that the vacation season is over and the hockey season is approaching.

Holford also said he expects at least one Ducks exhibition game to sell out, a Sept. 22 matchup against the Kings. Another possible sellout is the exhibition opener Sept. 18 against Pittsburgh, which will mark Marty McSorley’s first game in Southern California since being traded by the Kings.

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Bob Wagner, director of sales and marketing for the Angels for the past four years, has joined the Ducks as corporate sales manager. Wagner, 35, worked for the Angels 10 years and previously worked for Fluor Corp. as a human resources manager and for the Disneyland Hotel as activities director and convention coordinator.


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