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SBD/Jan. 17, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies
NBA To Offer Refunds With Interest In Case Of Missed Games
Published January 17, 2011
The NBA “is calling for all 30 clubs to offer a specific interest rate as part of their season-ticket refund policies for any games lost due to a work stoppage,” according to John Lombardo of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. NBA teams are about to begin their season-ticket renewal efforts, with "some teams hitting the market later this month." During the NBA’s '98-99 lockout, teams "offered season-ticket holders full ticket refunds plus 6 percent interest." The “planned refund approach is a noted departure from other league lockout ticket policies, which typically have not carried leaguewide specific interest rates as part of the ticket refund.” If a fan buys an NBA season-ticket package and games are lost because of a lockout, “the team would pay a full refund plus interest on a monthly basis.” The league "will determine the interest rate to be paid along with the ticket refunds closer to a work stoppage, but it will reflect prevailing market rates, which currently range" between 1-2%. One team ticket rep said, “What the league doesn’t want is the wild west, where teams offer a wide range of interest rates.” In addition to the league’s interest-payment policy, “teams will be able to offer incentives to renewing season-ticket holders to counter any possibility of missed games.” Like the NFL, NBA teams “will be allowed to craft their own policies on premium inventory” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/17 issue).
SILVER SAYS STOPPAGE NOT INEVITABLE: In Houston, Jonathan Feigen reported NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver "disputed the assumption that a work stoppage is inevitable." However, Silver did indicate that no meetings between the league and the NBPA "are scheduled, that there has been no movement since the owners' proposal a year ago and union counter-proposal last spring, and could only cite the history of avoided work stoppages as a reason for optimism." Silver: "It's not inevitable. We have a long-time relationship with [NBPA Exec Dir] Billy Hunter and other union officers. ... We've been forthcoming with our financials and I'd like to believe they understand the position we find ourselves. I don't think anything is inevitable and there is a lot of time left to get a deal done." Silver added that any meetings between the two sides "during All-Star weekend would 'make sense' but be 'largely symbolic'" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 1/15).