Feb 25, 2010, 10:27 AM EDT
Miami Heat season ticket holders learned this week that if they renew their season seats for next year early — by March 19 — will pay the same rate they did this year. Renew by March 5 and you can pay in 10 interest-free installments.
This comes on the heels of Cleveland telling its season ticket holders to make up their minds by March as well.
Not so coincidentally, those are two teams whose marquee player is an unrestricted free agent who could bolt town this summer.
Teams have traditionally gotten season ticket holders to fork over cash in the summer, allowing said teams to pocket and earn some interest on that money for a few months before they start paying out. This early renewal idea would give teams a few more months of interest.
But in this case it is a pretty naked ploy — those teams want to lock up season ticket holders now, rather than let them wait until the summer free agent frenzy plays out. Because if LeBron James or Dwyane Wade leave, so will a lot of the season ticket holding base.