SBD/September 25, 2012/Franchises

NHL Lockout, Day 10: Bruins, Blues Offer Ticket Options; Stars, Wild To Avoid Layoffs For Now

Bruins season-ticket holders have been offered two options by the team
Bruins season-ticket holders have “two options regarding the money they’ve paid for 2012-13 once games begin to fall off the schedule," according to Kevin Paul Dupont of the BOSTON GLOBE. The first option is to “leave money on account, earn 3 percent APR on the value of each ticket as the games are cancelled,” as well as “agree to buy 2013-14 season tickets with prices frozen at this season’s rates.” The second option is to “earn 1 percent APR on games that are cancelled,” and receive “monthly refunds as the lockout progresses.” Meanwhile, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said that the team has “no immediate plans for a reduction in the organization’s work force” (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/23).

FAN'S CHOICE: In St. Louis, Jeremy Rutherford reports the Blues yesterday sent an e-mail “detailing the four options that season-ticket holders now have with money currently being held by the club.” The first option is for ticket holders to leave their payment with the Blues and the team will credit their account with "interest calculated at an annual rate of 5% simple interest on the portion allocable to cancelled games.” Ticket holders also may leave their payment with the Blues and the team will credit their account with "interest calculated at an annual rate of 10% simple interest on the portion allocable to cancelled games." That interest will "be applied toward" ticket purchases for the Peoria Rivermen, the Blues' AHL affiliate. Ticket holders also have the option to “leave their payment with the Blues and elect interest calculated at an annual rate of 1% simple interest,” or to request a "monthly refund for cancelled games” (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 9/25).

THE PLAN FOR NOW: In Dallas, Mike Heika noted Stars Owner Tom Gaglardi and President & CEO Jim Lites are “making the difficult decision of not laying people off while the league and the NHLPA try to sort through their labor issues.” Lites said, “These are good people and we feel good about what we’ve been able to build here, so we don’t want to change anything. If this drags on, we’ll have to reassess, but we are going to attempt to work with the staff we have right now.” Part of the reason for the decision is that Lites “doesn’t want to risk losing the employees.” Lites: “We really felt we made a lot strides forward, so we don’t want that to be wasted” (DALLASNEWS.com, 9/21).

IN THE CONCERT BUSINESS TOO: In St. Paul, Brooks Suzukamo & Melo noted Xcel Energy Center and the adjacent RiverCentre complex “employ 200 full-time workers and 800 part-timers.” Minnesota Sports & Entertainment CFO Jeff Pellegrom, whose company owns the Wild, said, "We have announced no layoffs of the full-timers. We still have concerts that we're running." Regardless of whether the Wild play a single game, the team and Minnesota Sports & Entertainment “still must pay rent to the city for the Xcel Center.” The company “leases the arena from the city for about $8 million per year, on top of operating expenses.” That amount is “among the highest rent of any NHL team, with the funds going toward paying off the bonds that funded the Xcel's construction” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 9/20).
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