Season ticket holders faced with decision after NHL lockout
Published Sunday, September 16, 2012 4:52PM CST
Winnipeg Jets fans suffered a big blow Saturday night with news that hockey may be on hold for some time.
Saturday night the NHL locked out players after they failed to agree on the terms of a collective bargaining agreement before the deadline.
Just one year after Jets fans celebrated the return of their team, they’re now looking at could be a loss of another season.
Jordan Kusmack is a season-ticket holder for Winnipeg Jets games and doesn't know when he'll get another chance to see his team hit the ice again.
“I can’t put into words how disappointed I am not to see my team play,” said Kusmack.
He and seven friends pooled their cash – over $1,000 each – for season tickets to the game.
Last year, Kusmack said, the energy was electric. “The atmosphere was great. I looked forward to every game,” he said.
Fans and players alike are disappointed by the lockout.
“Players wanted to play,” said Olli Jokinen. “Everyone wants to see hockey.”
At the center of the dispute between the NHL and the players association are player salaries. The NHL wants to cut player salaries from 57 per cent to 46 per cent.
With profits steadily increasing and the league posting record revenues in the lastest season, the players feel the cuts are unfair.
Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd said the players are trying hard to work out a deal, but unfortunately it’s the fans who will lose out the most during the lockout.
“This isn’t against them, we’re just trying to do what’s fair,” said Ladd.
While Jets fans will lose out on the games, they will be compensated financially.
True North Sports and Entertainment offered two choices to season-ticket holders Saturday.
Ticket holders can choose to let True North hold onto their cash in return for an interest credit of three per cent applied to their accounts between the time of the first cancelled game until the Jets are back on the ice.
Alternatively, they can receive a refund plus one per cent interest from the date the first game is canceled. Interest will be earned on any season-ticket holder account balance until the Jets play again in the season.
Accountant Rafael Bustillo with Liberty Tax says the best option for ticket holders depends on how they are paying for the tickets.
Bustillo said the first option is better if you’ve paid by cash, while the second option with one per cent interest is better if you’ve paid by credit.
Bustillo also said ticket holders should read the terms of the offers very carefully before selecting an option.
“Read these more than a couple of times about what the consequences are,” said Bustillo. “Obviously the larger amount you paid, the better the benefit will be.”
Ticket holders have until Sept. 21 to make their decision.
True North will issue a statement in the next couple of days.
For the full details on the options available to season ticket holders, see the Winnipeg Jets’ NHL Work Stoppage FAQs page.