The New York Jets, like the Eagles, already received 50 percent of the amount but said they wouldn't ask for the rest until training camp dates were announced. The Panthers asked for 10 percent up front and said they would defer the remainder until a new collective bargaining agreement is in place.
"In light of that the work stoppage is ongoing and continuing and now that we've had a chance to kind of look at things through that prism, this seems to be fair and seems to provide flexibility," said Don Smolenski, chief operating officer for the Eagles. "We've had fans who have asked, and it makes sense. It's the right thing to do."
The Eagles sent out a notice Wednesday afternoon via e-mail and regular mail informing ticket holders of the plan. In the electronic version, a link to a page gives two options - pay now or defer payment until June 7 or until there is an official announcement that the 2011 season will happen.
To choose deferment, ticket holders must provide credit card information so the Eagles will have enough time to process the orders if the lockout drags close to or into the season.
"We have to process the payment, print the tickets, distribute the tickets. All that takes time," Smolenski said. "And not knowing how this will all shake out or when it will shake out, we could be in a situation where we have to move quickly."
Invoices for season tickets were mailed out in January with the first payment due by March 8. Smolenski said the Eagles received "virtually 100 percent" of the first installment. Thirty-five percent paid in full.
Three days later the players' union decertified, and the owners locked out the players, essentially shutting down the league. The Eagles informed their season-ticket holders then that they would refund their payment in full - plus any accrued interest - if any games were lost to the lockout.
"And now we're offering this deferral option," Smolenski said. "I think it's among the fan-friendliest."
Contact staff writer Jeff McLane at 215-854-4745 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Jeff_McLane