Friday, September 23, 2011

Charlotte Bobcats President and COO Fred Whitfield sent out this statement to fans today.
Dear Charlotte Bobcats Fans:

I wanted to take this opportunity to personally inform you that the NBA made the difficult decision to postpone the start of training camps and cancel preseason games scheduled through October 15, due to the lack of a new collective bargaining agreement. As a result the Charlotte Bobcats will not open camp on October 3, 2011 as previously scheduled and road preseason games at Chicago (Oct. 10), at Memphis (Oct. 11) and at Oklahoma City (Oct. 14) will not be played.

We remain confident that this process will result in a business model that affords all 30 teams the opportunity to compete for a championship, fairly compensates players and ensures a world-class experience for you, our most loyal fans.

We recognize that without our fans, there would be no NBA. Your passion for the game is what motivates us and we do not take your support for granted. Additionally, we want to assure you that the league will continue to work toward a new collective bargaining agreement so that we can get back to enjoying the excitement of NBA basketball at Time Warner Cable Arena.

Thank you again for your support, patience and continued loyalty to the Charlotte Bobcats.

Fred Whitfield
President & Chief Operating Officer

Whitfield hosted a lunch for season ticket holders last month at Ruth's Chris. [Source]

The NBA--owners and players--better get their act together because if they end up canceling the start of the regular season due to this lockout, a lot of fans might not bother to show interest when the season finally does start. Not to mention the challenges mid-market teams like the Bobcats already face in attracting sponsors. What do they think will happen if sponsors start allocating those dollars elsewhere? Plus, we all see firsthand what kind of economic boost home games have on Uptown restaurants, bars, hotels, and other businesses around Time Warner Cable Arena.


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