Cardinals Fan Cancels Season Tickets in Response to Letter
On April 5, the Arizona Cardinals sent an e-newsletter to season-ticket holders. The full text of the letter is pasted below.
Dear Season Ticket Holder;
As a Cardinals season-ticket holder, I know that the current NFL labor situation and the preparations for the 2011 season are of great interest to you. As you may know, the annual league meeting was held recently in New Orleans and I want to take a few moments to advise you of recent developments.
The meeting’s focus was on football-related issues and the status of our efforts to reach a new collective bargaining agreement with the players’ union.
Led by our Competition Committee, a variety of football matters were discussed thoroughly with special emphasis on player health and safety. In the interest of player safety, it was decided to move the spot of kickoffs to the 35-yard line and at the same time limiting the covering team to a 5-yard running start to the kickoff. In addition, we modified instant replay so that all scoring plays will now be reviewed by the instant replay assistant in the booth and sent to the referee if necessary. This means coaches no longer have to use their challenges on scoring plays. We are also continuing to discuss how to best limit hits to the head and expand protection for players in a defenseless position. NFL football has always been a tough sport and it will remain that way. At the same time, we are committed to making it safer and reducing injuries. We are exploring additional rules changes to promote player safety and these will be considered at our next meeting, which will be held in late May in Indianapolis.
On the topic of collective bargaining, we reviewed the status of the union’s litigation as well as the current work stoppage. We all want a quick resolution of the current labor dispute. The NFL clubs put a fair proposal on the table that would pay the players an estimated $19-20 billion over the next four years, including a 14% increase from 2011-2014. There would be no pay-cut for players, only a slowing in the growth rate of their compensation. The proposal also included a wide range of other improvements for both current and retired players.
Unfortunately, instead of negotiating any further, the union and its outside lawyers walked away from collective bargaining and the federal mediators in order to file a lawsuit. This only delays the process of reaching a new long-term agreement.
Our confidence that we will have a collective bargaining agreement with the players’ union is unchanged. The only question is when. We have great respect for our players, admire what they do, and want to share with them the great opportunities ahead for the NFL.
Our expectation is for the 2011 season to proceed without interruption and preparing for it is our #1 priority. As you know, there are a number of different potential scenarios and we will be ready for all of them.
As part of preparations, season ticket invoices were recently mailed. As indicated in that correspondence, season ticket holders will be reimbursed for any games that are not played. After numerous conversations with valued season ticket holders, the refund options will include interest on your 2011 season payment deposits; this interest will be calculated from June 1st, the date your remaining deposit will be required, through the date of each game not played.
I will continue to keep you informed because we recognize these issues are as important to you as they are to us. We truly appreciate your support of the Cardinals and look forward to seeing you again at University of Phoenix Stadium soon.
Thank you for your support as a season ticket holder.
President, Arizona Cardinals Football Club
The letter did not go over well with one Cardinals fan and season-ticket holder. Michael Baltazar, who says the fans are on the side of the players, responded by emailing the Cardinals, writing the following:
This is NFL Owner’s propaganda at its worse.
Now you are going use my Arizona Cardinals E-News to sell me on the “owners view”?
Wow… bad call! (I will now cancel my E-News subscription) I get E-News to find about the Cardinals, not that!
I have no intention on renewing my tickets this year, nor anytime in the near future. You and all the owners need to learn a little more tact.
Good luck, and I hope you get all the money you want!
Your former ticket holder,
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