San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York released a letter to 49ers fans earlier this afternoon over at 49ers.com and I've posted the letter after the jump. More and more teams have been releasing letters to the fans. This particular letter is fairly balanced and doesn't antagonize anybody, which is certainly a start. It focuses primarily on the team's operations in relation to the draft and preparing for the 2011 season. What it does not include is information about potential ticket refunds. I'd be curious to see how teams and the league as a whole will be handling this. I've heard bits of information about it here and there, but nothing consistent and nothing firm.
As I am sure you are aware, the Collective Bargaining Agreement -the contract between the NFL and the labor union representing the players-has expired. On Friday, the union filed for decertification and we have now entered into a lockout. Although this is not the outcome any of us wanted, the NFL remains committed to collective bargaining and the federal mediation process, which we believe is the fastest way to a fair agreement for both the players' union and the clubs. The ultimate goal is to establish an agreement that is good for the long-term health of the league and provides a tremendous product for you, our fans.
Please know that regardless of how this offseason unfolds the 49ers commitment to building a championship football team remains steadfast. As such, we will be prepared to take advantage of every opportunity within the league rules to be ready for a successful 2011 season.
As you might expect, Trent Baalke and Coach Harbaugh, as well as their respective staffs, are working tirelessly to prepare for the upcoming draft. And, as in recent years, we will be inviting you to participate in the draft weekend excitement with our annual Draft Contest and Draft Day Party, which will be held on Thursday, April 28, 2011 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. In fact, to every extent possible, we will be operating with a business-as-usual attitude. So, this summer, keep an eye out for announcements inviting you to our annual Family Day and State of the Franchise, as well as additional Fan Forums.
Throughout these labor proceedings, I will be committed to keeping an open line of communication with our entire fan base. Like me, you are all true fans of the NFL, so I encourage your patience and understanding during this time. And, of course, I thank you for your continued support of the San Francisco 49ers.
President & CEO, San Francisco 49ers