With the National Hockey League seemingly set to lock out its players for the second time in nine seasons, Washington Capitals season ticket holders received a letter today from majority owner Ted Leonsis all-but-confirming that the NHL is headed for a lockout.
As you know, the National Hockey League and the Players’ Association are in the process of negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement. The current CBA expires Sept. 15, and while we hope to successfully reach an agreement by that date, there remains the possibility that negotiations for a successor agreement will not be concluded and a work stoppage may ensue. If that happens, training camps may not open on time and games may be cancelled. If that occurs, we have adopted a set of policies and procedures regarding your season-ticket holder account.
Obviously we will not charge your account for any NHL game, preseason or regular season, that is not played. If an agreement is not reached by Sept. 15, we will suspend our monthly payment plan and your account will not be charged until further notice. In appreciation of your continued support and loyalty we would like to provide you with a 1% APR interest on the funds you have on account related to games that are not played. In the days ahead you will receive additional information that goes into greater detail regarding the interest and refund policy.
I want to assure you that the NHL's priority is to reach an agreement with the players. We all want to talk about exciting games, upcoming opponents and great plays, not the nuances of labor negotiation. We get it – and I empathize with you.
All of us at the Capitals appreciate your support and the passion you bring to Verizon Center. In a few short years you have turned our arena into one of the best and loudest buildings in the NHL. We all appreciate your loyalty, and I hope to see you all very soon at Kettler Capitals Iceplex and Verizon Center.
With my appreciation and gratitude,
We'll weep. We'll cry. We'll have nothing to do on Wednesday evenings in December. But ultimately, we are fans, and fans don't matter when it comes down to business.
The NHL and NHLPA have just over 24 hours in which to negotiate a deal for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement and ensure that the 2012-13 season starts on time. Let's hope they do.