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Bills, others change season ticket payments

The New York Giants and Jets, Carolina Panthers and Buffalo Bills made changes to their season-ticket plans this year to account for the lockout, with the Giants taking the biggest step by not requiring renewals until the labor stoppage ends.

According to a survey of all 32 teams by The Associated Press, 17 teams are not changing ticket prices, nine are raising them, four are decreasing them -- and two are both raising and decreasing, depending on seat location.

Buffalo extended its series of payments by one pay period and adjusted payment terms so that 50 percent of the account balance is not due until the league announces games will be played. Fans then have a two-month period to make the remaining payments.

May 1 normally is the due date for full payment by Giants season ticket-holders. Not this year, barring a settlement beforehand of the dispute between owners and players.

"We felt comfortable with it, and we shouldn't be singled out," co-owner John Mara said. "Each team has its own cash situation and relationship with their ticket holders.

"I have not heard anything [from other teams]. Each team has its own individual circumstances. We've asked an awful lot out of our fans in the last few years over the stadium."

The Giants and Jets shared the $1.6 billion cost for the New Meadowlands Stadium that opened last season. They also required personal seat license fees for most fans.

For 2011, the Giants are not raising ticket prices, while the Jets are having a 2.3 percent average increase. The Jets added a payment alternative that defers 50 percent of the total amount due until a training camp date is announced.

The Panthers added a fourth payment option for fans: 10 percent of the renewal price due up front and 90 percent due upon the signing of a new collective bargaining agreement.

Jacksonville is offering more flexibility in its payments, but a team spokesman said it had nothing to do with the lockout.

The four clubs reducing the cost of tickets are San Diego, Cleveland, Arizona and Tampa Bay. San Francisco and Kansas City are dropping some prices, raising others.

In Candlestick Park, more than 40,000 seats for Niners games will decrease or remain unchanged in price, but the average season-ticket price will be approximately $83, up about $6 from last season. At Arrowhead Stadium, two-thirds of the seats will have reduced or flat prices, and some sidelines seats will increase.

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Newton to visit Bills

Former Auburn quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton is scheduled to visit Ralph Wilson Stadium and the Buffalo Bills Monday, according to ESPN.com.

Newton's schedule reportedly includes nine teams, starting with the Miami Dolphins Sunday. After stopping in Buffalo (which has the No. 3 overall pick) Monday, he was scheduled to go to Minnesota Wednesday, Cincinnati April 3 and Carolina, which owns the top pick, April 5.

Meanwhile, the NFL has awarded the Bills a compensatory seventh-round pick in the draft next month.

The Bills were awarded the 10th-last selection, 244th overall, the league announced Friday. That gives Buffalo eight picks in the three-day draft, which opens April 28.

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Jolly charged again

HOUSTON -- Troubled Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Johnny Jolly has been arrested on another drug charge in Houston.

Houston police spokesman Victor Senties said Jolly was pulled over about 12:45 a.m. Friday. Senties said officers discovered a bottle containing 600 grams of codeine under the passenger's seat and another bottle with an unidentified substance in the driver's side door.

Jolly was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.

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