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Refunds plus interest if Bulls games wiped out by lockout

Tickets see Derrick Rose (left) Bulls United Center are hot sellers despite lockout. |  Paul Abell~AP

Tickets to see Derrick Rose (left) and the Bulls at the United Center are hot sellers despite the lockout. | Paul Abell~AP

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Updated: July 21, 2011 2:16AM

Bulls marketing chief Steve Schanwald urges Bulls fans not to fear if the NBA lockout cancels the 2011-12 season.

‘‘None of our fans will lose money,’’ Schanwald said Wednesday. ‘‘If there is no season, we will refund their money with interest.’’

That’s good news for fans, who already have purchased some 16,000 season tickets, plus thousands of single-game tickets. The same goes for corporate sponsors, suite renters and advertisers.

‘‘The Bulls have been around a long time and expect to be around much longer,’’ Schanwald said. ‘‘As long as we are in business, we will treat our season-ticket holders, our sponsors and other supporters fairly.’’

Is the lockout hurting Schanwald’s summer marketing?

‘‘Not at all,’’ he said. ‘‘We’re still open for business. We’ve receiving phone calls, we’re answering questions, we have a season-ticket waiting list, and season tickets and single-game tickets are selling like hotcakes. We’re also selling sponsorships. So [the lockout] is not really on our radar.

‘‘Our season-ticket holders have already been informed that they will be made whole financially and paid interest for games not played. So they have no risk at all for buying tickets. Also, if scheduled promotions are not held, then sponsors also will get full refunds.’’

Schanwald says he’s happy about the added exposure the Bulls are scheduled to get this season with 29 nationally televised games.

‘‘That’s the most we’ve had since Michael Jordan and the championship dynasty era,’’ he said.

Financially, the Bulls are in the best shape to weather the financial fallout of the lockout. While finishing with the NBA’s best record last season, they also led the league in attendance again, averaging 21,792 at the United Center, and are poised for another season of sellouts.

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