With only three months remaining before the expiration of its collective bargaining agreement with players, the NFL announced a league-wide ticket refund policy Tuesday for any 2011 preseason and regular-season games that are canceled due to a work stoppage.
The policy would apply to all general admission tickets. Each club would determine its own policies for club seats, suites and payments for personal seat licenses.
"We are working hard to secure an agreement with the union that is fair and forward-thinking to ensure our game is sound and strong well into the future," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. "We know we will reach an agreement at some point. We all want football without interruption, but our fans are entitled to know now that they would receive refunds if any games are canceled."
The CBA expires March 3 and the NFL Players Association is bracing for a lockout if a new deal doesn't materialize.
The specifics of the league-wide policy for general admission tickets are as follows:
Full refunds will be offered for all preseason and regular-season home games that are canceled.
Season and partial season ticket holders will have the option to receive refunds in either the form that they paid for tickets (e.g., check, credit card), or in credits towards future games.
Fans who purchase individual game tickets will be offered a refund or the right to exchange their ticket to a canceled game for a ticket to a future game as selected by the club and subject to availability.
Refunds will be paid no later than 30 days after final determination of how many games will be played during the 2011 NFL season.
Two weeks ago, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced that 2011 season ticket prices will decrease in several sections and remain the same in all others. Adult season tickets will start as low as $35 per game, while youth season tickets are available in all upper level sections for $25 per game.
The Bucs also introduced a new 10-month payment plan option to provide more flexibility and allow more fans the ability to become season ticket holders. If season ticket holders choose not to take advantage of this new program, they are free to continue with January invoicing as in past years.
Bucs communications director Jonathan Grella said Tuesday the club is encouraged by the initial response by fans to the 10-month payment plan option.