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Georgia Force hoping seat event will draw fans back to Arena

DULUTH - Georgia Force fans can get their seats back today at the Arena at Gwinnett Center, as the arena football team prepares to return to the local venue after a three-year absence.

The Select-A-Seat event is part of the team's attempt to win back support from the community, where it spent two seasons in 2003 and 2004.

Force spokesman Brian Cearns said about half of the 1,900 season tickets sold are to new accounts based on the move back to Gwinnett. Cearns said the first row is already sold out.

Erik Richards, a die-hard Force fan from Duluth who kept following the team after the move to Philips Arena, said he isn't sure how the reception will be in Gwinnett.

"It's going to take a while for them to earn the people back that they lost," he said.

But Richards already has his seats picked out - in the corner, where he believes he can experience most of the action.

From 6 to 9 p.m. today, people can pick their seats from the Arena's 11,200. The team's cheerleaders and mascot Blu will be on hand to greet potential season ticket holders, and free food and beverages will be provided.

Ticket packages begin at $81 for nine home games. Season ticket holders will also receive 15 percent off team merchandise.

For ticket information, call the Force ticket sales office at 1-888-55-FORCE.

The season will kick off March 1, when the Force faces the Dallas Desperados.