The NBA will issue refunds to season-ticket holders, along with 6 percent interest, if the league's lockout forces the cancellation of regular-season games.
That announcement came Monday from the league office on another day of developments in the six-week-old work stoppage.The league also gave the National Labor Relations Board its official response to the complaint filed last month by the players union, alleging the NBA committed an unfair labor practice by imposing a lockout before reaching an impasse in negotiations.
In Atlanta, union director Billy Hunter held a briefing for some of the locked-out players, and attendees included Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
No new bargaining talks are scheduled. The last formal session ended abruptly last Thursday when owners walked out of the room after hearing the players' latest proposal.
"Regrettably, after last week's negotiating session there seems to be a greater likelihood that the season may not start on time," deputy commissioner Russ Granik said in a news release announcing the refund policy.
Season ticket holders, most of whom already have paid for their seats for the 1998-99 season, will receive 6 percent interest on their money if regular-season games, which are due to begin Nov. 3, are canceled because of the lockout. Refunds would be made at the end of each month.
"Season ticket holders make substantial financial commitments to our teams and we think they should be treated fairly in the unfortunate event that games are missed," Granik said. "A refund policy that includes interest is the right thing to do in this instance."
Holders of single-game tickets will be entitled to a refund or a rain check.
Refund policies for holders of luxury suites, club seats and other premium seats will be determined on a team-by-team basis, the NBA said.
On the NLRB front, the next move will be made by Daniel Silverman, regional director of the New York office, who must determine if the players' complaint has merit. He would then report to the full board in Washington, which would decide if the agency should ask a federal judge to issue an injunction restoring the old work rules that expired at midnight June 30 when the old collective bargaining agreement elapsed.