Unlike many NFL teams, the Chicago Bears never swayed from their March 20 payment deadline for season tickets. However, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the team is working with concerned buyers who have been facing economic uncertainty.
Bears season ticket owners unable to make immediate payments are encouraged to reach out to the team’s ticketing office to discuss options. This case-by-case basis is being applied after team executives ruled out that an extended deadline might not be of much help depending on the virus’ longterm impacts financially.
“We talked about the potential of pushing that deadline back,” Bears senior VP of marketing and communications Scott Hagel told the local Mully & Haugh radio show. “But frankly in terms of the discussions we were having with some of our season-ticket holders, just simply moving the deadline back we didn’t feel would solve the ultimate problem because none of us know where this ultimately is going with the fluidity of the situation.”
The Bears’ decision to keep their March 20 payment deadline sparked confusion from season ticket owners as other teams have adjusted their schedules. But the organization is committed to helping fans retain their ticket packages with customized payment plans for those facing current financial setbacks.
“We’d rather talk to you each individually and say, ‘Help us understand what you’re dealing with and let us help you remain a season ticket holder.’ And honestly this is nothing that’s different than what we’ve done in the past,” Hagel said. “Obviously these circumstances are extraordinary and unique. So we will be dealing with a few more of them this year, and it’s something we certainly want to do again. The No. 1 goal is we want people who want to remain season ticket holders to have that ability to do so, and we’re willing to work with them to make sure that happens.”
Teams across the league have taken different approaches to aiding season ticket holders facing payment amid the economic downturn. Many pushed back deadlines by three to four weeks, while others now offer monthly plans that are extended well into the fall.
Individual teams continue to address concerns of season ticket owners as a cloud of uncertainty still hangs over the 2020 season. The Rams and Broncos each shared contingency plans for potential cancellations this season, despite officials moving forward with scheduling a full 16-game season they are hopeful can start on time.