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Lightning releases refund policy

With four games canceled already because of the NHL lockout and more cancellations possibly on the way, the Lightning on Tuesday released its refund policy.

But don't storm the box offices for those refunds yet. Refunds won't be given until the NHL announces which games will be canceled, and that announcement won't be made until the new start date of the season is determined.

Single-game ticket holders: If the game is not played on its scheduled date, single-game ticket holders can either exchange their tickets for tickets to another game or get a refund. The same policy applies to group and voucher tickets.

To get an exchange or refund, return the tickets to the point of purchase. Those who bought tickets by phone from Ticketmaster should call Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster says service charges will be refunded.

Full-season ticket holders: Once the league has specified which games will be canceled, full-season ticket holders have two major options.

Option 1: Ticket holders can have the cost of tickets for canceled games credited to their accounts, or they can exchange the tickets for tickets to future games this season.

Season ticket holders will earn 6 percent interest annually on their total account balance from Oct. 1 (the season's original start date) until the season begins. The interest will be compounded monthly.

Once the season begins, season ticket holders can ask for payment of accrued interest or credit it to their accounts. The money in their accounts can be applied to 1995-96 season tickets or 1995 playoff tickets.

Yes, playoff tickets. "You never know what could happen with a shortened season," Lightning executive vice president Mel Lowell said.

Ticket holders who don't ask for refunds can get next year's season tickets at this year's price, as well as a 15 percent discount on Lightning merchandise at the ThunderDome, the Lightning main office or by mail.

Option 2: Ticket holders can get refunds for canceled games.

They also will receive interest for their total account balance as long as the lockout lasts, but at the rate of 3 percent.

Once the season begins, the ticket holders can request payment of the accrued interest or apply it to their account.

To receive a refund, ticket holders must bring the tickets (and pre-paid parking passes and Lightning Club passes, if applicable) to the Lightning or ThunderDome box offices. Refunds will be made by check only to the season ticket holder of record.

Half-season ticket holders have the same options as full-season ticket holders.

$99 season ticket holders: Once the league specifies which games are canceled, $99 season ticket holders can exchange the tickets for tickets to future games this season or get a cash refund.

To receive a refund, bring the tickets to the Lightning or ThunderDome box offices.

Refund policies differ from team to team. Some franchises, including the Florida Panthers, New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils, are not offering interest to season ticket holders.

Lowell said the Lightning believed it was important to offer interest to its season ticket holders.

"We know our subscribers made an investment in the team and we feel we should reward them for their confidence and loyalty they've shown us," Lowell said. "They are very valuable to us and we think this is the reasonable and fair thing to do."

Where to call

For more information, call the Lightning ticket hot line at 229-8800 or the Lightning main office at 229-2658.