tampabay.com

Club seat fans catch break

Bucs will not require additional deposit with renewal, but don't expect that little refund.

By RICK STROUD
Published July 18, 2007


TAMPA - The Bucs are rewarding fans for their loyalty the past decade.

Club seat holders will not have to pay an additional seat deposit to renew their contracts.

The team plans to use the remaining money in those accounts as a new deposit beginning in 2008. They even promise "discounted" prices on tickets for those who stay aboard.

But there could be some bad news: the Bucs apparently are out of the refund business.

New club seat holders are expected to be charged what amounts to a seat license to purchase tickets.

Although no details of the new plan have been disclosed, the cost of the license will most likely be the same as the price of each ticket purchased on the account.

Team officials began informing club seat owners of the new plan in letters mailed last week. The deadline to renew club seats is Sept. 7.

In addition, club seat owners will have the option to enter new agreements for terms of six or 10 years.

The Bucs haven't revealed whether a similar policy will be enacted for general season ticket holders.

The Bucs also are offering more incentive for club seat owners to renew. Those who own Club 1 and Club 2 seats will have the right to purchase two tickets to Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa in February 2009.

Clubs seats range from $1,480 to $3,500, according to the team's Web site.

"If you choose not to sign a new agreement for your seats for the '08 season, you will receive a refund check for the remaining seat deposit balance on your account after the '07 season," the letter reads.

The 2007 season marks the end of 10-year commitments that many season ticket holders entered into when Raymond James Stadium opened in 1998.

At that time, the Bucs charged a charter seat deposit, offering to refund 5 percent a year for those who continued to purchase tickets.

The Bucs claim to have more than 100,000 fans on the season ticket waiting list.

"We will not require any additional seat deposits to be paid on your account: your remaining deposit will become your new seat deposit," the letter reads. "As long as you comply with the terms and conditions of your new agreement, the seat deposit will remain in full on your account through the term."

However, there is no mention of an annual refund.

The letter states if club seat owners don't renew, their tickets will be sold.