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NFL Prepares For Lockout By Announcing Refund Policy

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USA Today is reporting that the NFL is preparing for a possible lockout next year by announcing that fans will get refunds for tickets purchased for any unplayed games. This way, the league and its teams can sell season tickets and individual game tickets -- banking the money months ahead of time -- and still assure fans that they won't be out of pocket for anything if the games don't get played.

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The article points out that luxury box holders, holders of club seats, and PSL holders won't be getting their money back. That's where the big NFL dollars are, anyway.

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This is a dangerous game both sides are playing. The NFL is a multibillion dollar business and neither owners nor players are hurting, while many NFL and Bears fans are unemployed. It's the old "billionaires vs. millionaires" game and there won't be many fans in sympathy with either side. The NFL also risks this: if there's a lockout and games are cancelled, unlike major league baseball, fans can easily turn to weekly televised college football games as an alternative.

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Here's the policy on refunds, via the USA Today article. Note carefully that the NFL is only offering refunds, not automatically sending them; you have the option to get a credit or exchange. Seriously, who would take that? Especially, as noted below, if you have individual game tickets and want a credit, you have to take a game selected by the team.

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• Fans will get a full refund for all canceled preseason and regular-season games.↵

↵• Season and partial season ticket holders will have the option to get their money back either in the form they paid (such as a personal check or credit card) or as a credit toward ticket purchases for future games.↵

↵• Fans buying individual game tickets can either get a refund or the option to swap their canceled game ticket for a game selected by the club and subject to availability.↵

↵• When will fans get their money back? The NFL says they'll be paid no later than 30 days after the final determination of how many games will be played next season.