Like other teams in the league, most notably the Chicago Bulls, the Orlando Magic are offering refunds and benefits to season tickets holders if games are canceled because of the lockout. This is becoming the standard throughout the league as someone is finally giving the fans a bone in this (already) drawn-out lockout.
Orlando is offering three specific plans to its season ticket holders that will either give them cash, merchandise, food and beverage credits or a straight refund of tickets purchased. The credit/cash plans come with interest rates to sweeten the pot for those willing to take the offer. The deadline for the full amount of this interest rate is August 31.
Here are the details of the three plans for season ticket holders:
Option one gives season ticket holders food, beverage and merchandise credits of up to 10 percent annual percentage rate (APR) of their season account balance for the duration of the work stoppage.
Those who choose this plan, as well as the second plan, would keep their balance with the Magic for their season tickets and begin seeing credits accrue once the team begins cancelling games.
For each game canceled, as I understand it and PLEASE correct me if I am understanding it wrong, the team would return 10 percent of the value of the ticket to the season ticket holder in merchandise credits. The amount of the interest rate is determined by how quickly the season ticket-holder responds -- it dips to eight percent in September and six percent in mid-October.
The team is not issuing a refund in this plan. The funds remain in the account for the work stoppage's duration. But when the work stoppage ends, the remaining funds will be put toward the remainder of the season, with the excess returned to the season ticket holder or put toward the 2012 Playoffs. If the entire season is canceled, the team will renew the season tickets for the 2012-13 season at the 2011-12 prices.
The second option offers cash payments for tickets lost with a five percent interest rate if returned by August 31. No straight refund is given under this plan.
The final option is the basic refund plan. The Magic will refund the season ticket purchase price for each game canceled pluse a one percent APR interest payment. The team will make these payments on a monthly basis.
Kudos to the Magic for offering refund plans. I do not know how these plans compare to the plans other teams are offering. But this is appearing to be what most teams in the NBA are doing to take care of season ticket holders if games are canceled. Fans have a lot to complain about in this lockout for sure. This just feels like the least teams can do.
This is not so different from the refund the NBA offered during the 1998 lockout, except with much fewer options and more uniformity among the teams. The NBA, as Tim Povtak of the Orlando Sentinel reported back in August 1998, offered season ticket holders with a refund for any games lost with a six percent interest rate. That resembles option two except the fans got full refunds for lost games rather than keeping their money with the teams with the option of putting it to the Playoffs or the next season.
It would be interesting to see which plan people take -- I have a feeling it will be option two or three despite the 10 percent enticement considering how long this lockout might last.
Photo via DayLife.com.