Oilers' Sept. 10 party is just the ticket!

ROBIN BROWNLEE --

, Last Updated: 8:19 AM ET

It's a pick-up party for 5,000 people. Before smooth-talkers start polishing their best let-me-buy-you-a-drink lines, a soiree planned for Sept. 10 isn't THAT kind of pick-up party

Faced with the problem of getting season tickets printed and distributed in time for the start of the 2005-06 campaign because of delays created by the NHL lockout, the Oilers are inviting fans to pick up their tickets in person Sept. 10 at the AgriCom.

Fans who do so won't only get their ducats, they'll get a chance to skate with the Oilers and meet the candidates who'll make up the 2005-06 edition of the team, like Michael Peca and Chris Pronger.

Come here often?

"You can come as a customer and skate with our team," team president Patrick LaForge said.

"Bring your skates. Bring your kids. Bring your camera. Bring your autograph book. Have some fun."

LaForge, speaking at a news conference to announce pricing on mini-pack promotions and individual game tickets yesterday, and his sales staff have been doing brisk business on the season ticket front -- the team is only 300 packages away from the cut-off point of 13,000.

The Sept. 10 bash isn't as much about striking up new business as it is about making sure everybody who has committed their money receives their tickets on time. Main training camp opens Sept. 13 and the first pre-season game at Rexall Place is Sept. 16 against Calgary.

"Every year, and maybe more times this year, we're going to arrange for our customers to have face-to-face personal contact with the club," LaForge said of the Oilers' commitment to marketing.

CHEAP SEATS: The Oilers will be offering an eight-game package featuring tickets priced at just $15 for mid-week games as well as four other eight-game mini-packs at varying prices.

For information on any of the packages, phone 414-4625, 1-866-414-4625 or log on to the Oilers website at www.edmontonoilers. com.

ON THE ROAD: Expect an announcement in coming days that the Oilers will stage some of their rookie camp workouts and scrimmages in outlying areas of the city.

With 40 youngsters invited to camp, including Marc-Antoine Pouliot, Robbie Schremp, Devan Dubnyk, J.F. Jacques and Matt Greene, indications are the Oilers will move some sessions from Rexall Place and Millennium Place to Fort Saskatchewan and Stony Plain.

AROUND THE RINK: the final of the Joey Moss Cup, awarded annually to the training camp champion for scrimmages, will be played Sept. 15.


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