SBD/23/Franchises

BASEBALL TEAMS GIVE THANKS TO SEASON TICKET HOLDERS

     The White Sox are offering season-ticket holders their money
back if fans don't like the way the team plays during its first
four homestands.  The new policy, "designed with owners
considering the use of replacement players, gives season ticket
holders a June 1 deadline."  Ticket holders asking for refunds
will get them on the remaining games, plus interest on the money
spent to secure their seats.  The White Sox join the Brewers, and
the Angels in offering a refund (AP, 11/23).  The Pirates'
"strategy is simple:  worry about keeping the existing 17,100
season-ticket holders and court new business later."  The team is
holding parties and writing letters, even manger Jim Leyland is
sending hand-written notes to fans who renewed season-ticket
plans.  Pirates VP/Marketing Steve Greenberg said they have had
65% of fans ask for credit, with 35% for refunds.  But in San
Diego, the Padres' season-ticket base has dropped from 16,000 to
9,000 (Mel Antonen, USA TODAY, 11/23).
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