Originally written on Sports Business Digest  |  Last updated 11/16/14

The NHL is in a lockout. And if you are an NHL team, its time to get creative.

Borderline markets like Nashville are worried that the lockout will effect their season ticket renewal rates (the team had retained 94% of its season tickets by mid August), the Phoenix Coyotes have issues even beyond the lockout with former Sharks CEO Greg Jamison looking to purchase the team (and facing heavy opposition from the city of Glendale). While other teams have no choice but to sit back and wait for the next negotiation session and hope for the best. The Minnesota Wild have decided to be rather proactive with their lockout approach announcing on Monday that no layoffs were expected in the immediate future.

Wild Chief Operating Officer Matt Majka said the "vast majority of our employees are unaffected by the work stoppage." But game-day workers — ticket-takers, beer vendors and the like — won't be paid for canceled games and a "small minority" of team executives and other highly paid workers will face some short-term salary reductions. -- (via Minneapolis Business Journal)

No layoffs. Looking good so far. And the Wild decided to go even further when dealing with fans who've already purchased season tickets -- you can either receive a refund, or let the Wild keep your money...and earn interest.

Pay in Full
If your account is paid in full you will receive a credit on your account for missed games, if any, plus 10% interest (APR) on the dollar value of tickets for those games. The ensuing credit on your account for the value of the missed games and calculated interest can be applied toward future games or subsequent season renewals. The credit will appear on your account once a new CBA is agreed upon.

Extended Payment Plans
If you are on an extended payment plan you will receive a credit on your account for missed games, if any, plus 10% interest (APR) on the dollar value of tickets for those games once the funds in your season ticket account exceed the value of the remaining scheduled games. The ensuing credit on your account for the value of the missed games and calculated interest can be applied toward future games or subsequent season renewals. The credit will appear on your account once a new CBA is agreed upon.

If you find it necessary to forego the game credit and interest payment approach, we request you contact your Fan Relations Account Executive at 651.222.WILD (9453) orcustomer.service@wild.com to initiate the refund process for the value of any missed games. To allow for the possibility of rescheduled games, refunds will not begin until after the NHL has confirmed any cancelled games will not be rescheduled and will only be made once the funds in your season ticket account exceed the value of the remaining scheduled games. (via Minnesota Wild)

Apparently the Wild are pretty optimistic that this lockout is going to end soon. Or at least they're content with taking a wait-and-see approach, while paying out 10% interest to their season ticket holders in the process. Of course, when you had the incredible off-season that Minnesota had, signing both Zach Parise and Ryan Sutter, you have to do something to keep the momentum you've built, even if your team isn't playing any games. Interest payments back to their fans sounds like they're off to a good start.

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