NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans owner Bud Adams has sent a letter to season ticket holders answering questions on the NFL's lockout, the draft and how refunds will be handled if any games are canceled.
The Titans say the letter from Adams was mailed out on Monday so season ticket holders should begin receiving them starting Tuesday. The team also posted a message from the owner to fans on its website Monday in moves to reach out to fans a couple days after the team closed the main gate to its offices and practice fields with a chain.
"I know many of you have questions about the upcoming 2011 season and how it will be affected by the work stoppage," Adams wrote to season ticket holders.
In his message on the website, Adams said they were all disappointed mediation ended and the labor deal with the union expired Friday.
"As a league, we believe that any agreement will have to be reached at the bargaining table with the union and not through the court system. We hope that those negotiations can be resumed sooner rather than later," Adams wrote.
On the back of the letter is a list of eight questions and answers, including noting that payments on season tickets will be delayed and whether replacement players might be used is a league decision, not one to be made by the Titans.
The last invoice for season tickets will be going out in mid-April, but the Titans say the payment deadline will depend on the duration of the "work stoppage" along with the time needed to print and deliver tickets before games begin. Personal seat license contracts allow the team not to give refunds until the season ends, but the Titans promise to process written requests for refunds once a number of canceled games is known.
They also note that any canceled games could be rescheduled.
"It is only a question of when we reach an agreement," according to the team's answer to whether games might be canceled this season.
The seventh question is whether the NFL would use replacement players if a labor deal is not in place before the 2011 season begins. The team points out that use of replacement players is an NFL decision and not up to individual clubs.
"We know of no plans to use replacement players in 2011," the team wrote.
The Titans are the NFL team most affected by the NFL lockout as the last team to hire a new head coach in Mike Munchak. He needs a new quarterback with the Titans planning to trade or release Vince Young, and the lockout means Munchak and his coaches can't talk to players until a labor deal is reached.
"We are extremely excited about Mike and the coaching staff he has assembled," said Adams, who keeps his home and office in Houston. "If leadership, skill and experience count for anything, and they do, Mike and his staff will make all of us proud."
For now, the Titans are focusing on the April draft. They hold the eighth pick overall and are trying to put the pieces back together after a 6-10 season ended with Young on the outs and Jeff Fisher leaving weeks later.
Adams tells fans in his message on the website that the coaches are watching tape to learn the current players, preparing playbooks and prepping for the draft while the front office prepares to improve the team once an agreement is reached.
"We will be ready as an organization once football activity resumes," his message concluded.