SBD/June 2, 2011/Franchises

NFL Lockout Watch, Day 83: Chiefs Claim They Are Leading League In New Tickets Sales

Donovan says strong ticket sales result of last season's success
Chiefs Chair Clark Hunt said that the team is "leading the league in new ticket sales by a significant margin," according to Adam Teicher of the K.C. STAR. Chiefs President Mark Donovan said of the lockout, "Obviously, winning the division and going 10-6 and having the excitement that went along with it, that built great momentum for us. That helped us with ticket sales." However, he added, "It's hard to measure how much more we could have grown or how much we were impacted by [the lockout]" (K.C. STAR, 6/2). In Baltimore, Kevin Van Valkenburg reported yesterday marked the deadline for Ravens fans to make "full payment on all season tickets," and team President Dick Cass revealed the team is "actually slightly ahead of where we were last year" for season-ticket sales. However, "most season-ticket holders -- especially if they are PSL owners -- feel like they don't have a choice." Ravens fan Jerry Sandrowsky said, "Bottom line, if I forgo paying the Ravens, I risk losing the $6,000 PSL investment I made back in 2005." Van Valkenburg noted if games "do end up getting canceled" due to the lockout, season-ticket holders "will get their money back plus 1 percent interest from the team." Meanwhile, a source said that the Ravens, Cass and Owner Steve Bisciotti last week "decided to reverse" the decision to cut all employees' pay by 25% during the lockout and to "restore salaries to 100 percent (with missing back pay), in part because they want the Ravens to continue to be regarded as one of the best teams in the league to work for, in both good times and bad." But the source added that the Ravens "have said internally they will reevaluate the situation again in September if the lockout is not resolved" (Baltimore SUN, 6/1).

CREATIVE SOLUTIONS: ESPN.com's Bill Williamson wrote Raiders Chief Exec Amy Trask "has scored a touchdown" by "finding a way to keep business flowing and productivity high" during the lockout. Trask "came up with a creative way to both avoid giving employees pay cuts during the lockout and boost season-ticket sales," as the team has "asked every employee, coaches included, to make up 10 percent of their salary by selling season tickets during the lockout." Trask: "I wanted to find a solution for the Raiders that was constructive and productive for everyone in the organization and to make the Raiders bigger and stronger. We think we have accomplished it in the terms of people from different departments in the building are all working together" (ESPN.com, 6/1). Meanwhile, in Jacksonville, Vito Stellino writes the Jaguars "keep coming up with new ways to engage the fan base during the lockout." In their latest move, the Jaguars will host a "Jaguars Movie Night at Everbank Field on June 24 for the showing of the film, 'The Blind Side.'" The event is "for season ticket holders and their guests" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 6/2). 

MEDIA LOCKED OUT
: YAHOO SPORTS' Michael Silver noted Panthers players hired a "uniformed cop to keep reporters away from Tuesday's workout session at a Charlotte high school." But Silver wrote by "locking out reporters -- and, by extension, your fans -- in the midst of a lockout, you are damaging your cause on numerous levels." Silver: "You’re missing an opportunity to cast yourselves in a positive light during a time of tumultuous discord that threatens to get worse as the scheduled start of the 2011 season nears" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 6/1). In Charlotte, Joseph Person noted Panthers OTs Jordan Gross and Travelle Wharton are "covering the costs of the sessions," which include paying for police "stationed at the entrance to the private school to keep fans and media away." The sessions include "meeting about the playbook and schemes that will be installed by new Panthers coach Ron Rivera and his staff." The media "will be allowed in for a portion of the final session on June 9" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 6/1).
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