Life’s been rough enough this summer for hockey fans in Atlanta. They’re without a team now that the Thrashers have been bought by True North and moved to Winnipeg and now the former ownership, Atlanta Spirit Group, is continuing to find ways to make life miserable for them.
While many fans in Atlanta bought season tickets in hopes that the talk of the team being bought and moved was just talk, that talk proved to be true and Atlanta Spirit is taking their sweet time in paying those trusting fans back.
WSBTV.com’s Jim Strickland out of Atlanta reports that many fans are having a hard time getting refunds for their season ticket deposits and payments from Atlanta Spirit. Salt in the wounds is not what these displaced hockey fans needed on top of the pain of losing a team, but the people representing the Thrashers ticket sales team aren’t helping matters either.
“It’s just been one excuse after another. Where’s my money at? Where’s my refund? It’s been well over a month from the time it was guaranteed to be sent back to me,” complained fan Brad Lyons.
Strickland called Lyons’ ticket representative. James Desmond refused comment and hung up the phone.
Strickland called back several times and got voicemail from several team officials.
“I was told, others have had this problem,” said Lyons. A second fan told Strickland that he’s still waiting for $3,700.
Lyons owed less than $200.
“I don’t care. It’s my money,” he said.
The upside to this story is that apparently the attention paid by the TV station is going to get these fans their money back sooner, but that’s how Atlanta Spirit has operated in this thing all along. They’ve operated poorly thanks to no one taking notice of what they were doing and then upon being called out, they snap into action to do what’s right.
Apparently all Atlanta Spirit needed to do a good job running a team was to have people paying attention to their mismanagement and general disarray in trying to run a franchise. Too little, too late for that now as the Thrashers are now the Jets and Atlanta Spirit can now exist in infamy as one of the worst ownership groups to call the NHL home.
We can just hope that they’ll stop jerking around other fans who deserve to get their money back efficiently. It’s the least they could do given that they did little to nothing to help the Thrashers establish a winning team or finding other potential owners to keep the team in Atlanta.