Blazers cut ticket prices, establish a code of conduct

Updated: August 7, 2003, 1:13 AM ET

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland Trail Blazers, a team rocked by off-court troubles, have reduced ticket prices and announced plans for a player code of conduct in an effort to win back the community.

The code of conduct was part of a 25-point mission statement unveiled by team president Steve Patterson during a special meeting with season ticket holders on Wednesday.

It holds players responsible for their actions on and off the court.

"We recognize the difficulties the franchise has had in the past, and we are here to deal with them in as effective and immediate fashion as we can," he said. "We want to give the team back to our customers, our fans, our media. So we have taken the feedback and responded to it."

The entire 25-point mission statement appeared in a full-page ad in the sports section of Thursday's Oregonian. It was accompanied by a seating chart with the new ticket prices.

Patterson said the code of conduct has yet to be drafted, but it will be in place before the Trail Blazers open training camp in October.

The reduction in ticket prices reverses a four-year trend of higher prices. Preferred mid-level tickets that were $130 are now $113. General seating tickets at midcourt are now $93, down from $95. General seating tickets at court's end fell from $79 to $72 and the cheapest seats in the house dropped from $10 to $9. Other ticket reductions ranged from $1 to $5.

Patterson said cutting prices was the prudent thing to do because of the economy. He expects the Trail Blazers to again be among the NBA leaders in season ticket sales, but he acknowledged that some fans are waiting to see what moves the team makes.

There have been no significant player moves since Patterson and new general manager John Nash took over this summer.

The last few seasons have been marred by player arrests and a quick exits from the playoffs.

The off-season got off to an inauspicious start when guard Damon Stoudamire was arrested July 3 at Tucson International Airport after authorities were called to the security checkpoint. Stoudamire allegedly had marijuana wrapped in aluminum foil in his pocket.

He was cited for possession of marijuana and paraphernalia in what became his third drug arrest in two years. Stoudamire has pleaded innocent.

Portland players also have gotten in trouble for confrontations with officials and for fighting among themselves. ^

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index