For years, the Arizona Rattlers played in front of sell-out crowds for most of their home games. It was not a coincidence that they made the playoffs 12 straight seasons. Good teams kept fans around, which helped to make the Snake Pit one of the toughest places in the league to visit. However, the past few years, attendance has dwindled, and the Rattlers missed the playoffs 2 of the last 3 years.
The team's new owners have an idea that is believed to be unheard of in professional sports: if the Rattlers fail to make the playoffs next season, they will give season ticket holders complete refunds.
The ownership group, led by Brett Bouchy, are long-time AFL fans. They hope that this move will bring back fans who may have stopped coming to games, while bringing in new fans as well.
"Imagine going to somebody with a little interest in Arena football, try us for a year, and if we don't make the playoffs, get your money back," Bouchy said. "But we think they'll see what a great sport it is and be a long-time season ticket holder. That's the idea, to attract people who know about us but hasn't tried us."
Not a bad deal. If the team sucks, you get to watch for free. If they don't suck and they make the playoffs, you'll get your money's worth anyway.
Only time will tell if the ploy succeeds or not, but it's an intriguing idea that many fans will undoubtedly hope will be tried by their favorite teams.
Rattlers offer money-back guarantee (AZ Central)