A VICTORY FOR ISLANDERS COUNTRYNYI back off season tix deadlines, interest payments

Chris Botta on Twitter


5:10 pm, Rockville Centre, Town of Hempstead: Islanders season ticket holders pushed back. Islanders management has backed down.


Presented with invoices for 2010-11 season tickets and an April 1 deadline before interest charges would kick in, several Islanders full season ticket package owners told the team they were mad as hell and would not take it any longer. Just as strong as the pushback, Islanders executives had to be concerned about the countless season subscribers they did not hear from in the days leading up to the full-payment deadline.


So with three days to spare, the franchise has relented – a victory for common sense and one of the most passionate fanbases in professional sports.


According to one Islanders source, subscribers declining to pay in full by Thursday will not be subject to interest charges. (For example, one fan was going to see his $50 ticket raised to $55 per game – an interest hike of more than $400 for a pair of season tickets).


The Islanders are now asking season ticketholders to make a 50% payment by April 15 (NHL draft lottery week!), 25% by May 1 and the balance by June 1.


However, according to the legendary follower of Islanders fashion Barry LI on the team’s message board, Islandermania, he has been offered the “privilege” of paying 50% by April 15, 25% by June 30 (notably before unrestricted free agency) and the rest by August 30. No interest charges.


It could come down to who you are, who you know and how strong a negotiator you are. If Garth Snow can keep the Tavares draft selection quiet for two months, surely you can tell the Islanders with a straight face that you will pay for your season tickets when you can pay for your season tickets. August 30 sounds fair, no?


Keep in mind that, as an Islanders season ticketholder, you are the owners of what can best be described as “Reverse Personal Seat Licenses.” At this date, there is little demand and no waiting list. There are currently fewer than 7,000 Islanders season ticket holders who are not sponsors or “friends of the organization.” Among the seven million people on Long Island – not to mention the millions in the Country elsewhere in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut – there are fewer than 3,000 Islanders full season account holders.


In other words, you have “hand” in this relationship. Surely, the very good people at the Islanders understand this. Especially at a time when they still need your unwavering support for a real estate development deal.


My advice: work with the Islanders. Encourage them to work with you. Almost everyone in this negotiation is a reasonable person. Call 1.800.882.ISLES. (I’d like to tell you to say that Point Blank sent you, but I can’t guarantee how that would work out).


If the Islanders are a big part of your lives, I have no doubt something equitable for all sides can be amicably negotiated.


Oh, by the way, I’m also hearing general parking next season may stay at $7. Season ticketholders will be able to get a discount on the more expensive-but-highly accessible “Breakaway” parking.


To all the loyal fans that have said over the last month that they were done with their season tickets, I believe that this too shall pass.


Comments on this subject. Let us know how it works out.