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Getting to Know the CBA - Episode 13: Articles 19 & 20: Per Diem Allowance, Expense Reimbursement, & Game Tickets

Stevie Roxelle - @stevieroxelle - Biscuit Fox

Two articles taking up a total of three pages make up a relatively short week for Getting to Know the CBA this time around.

You can find the entire CBA here (PDF)

Article 19: Per Diem Allowance; Expense Reimbursement

We've covered who gets the Per Diem allowance in our posts on Articles 14 (transfer payments) and 15 (training camps). This is the article which actually lays out what that allowance actually entails.

Last season (2012-13), the Per Diem allowance for those entitled to it was $100. That amount will change each year based on the U.S. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers. The adjustment is calculated from May of one year to the next May (for example, the 2013-14 Allowance will be based on the change in the index between May of 2012 and May of 2013). This gets calculated no later than June 30th and goes into effect as of July 1st.

The amount is rounded to the nearest dollar. Using this chart from the U.S. Department of Labor, it seems as though the percentage change in the applicable index was 1.36% between May 2012 and May 2013, meaning the Per Diem for the current league year should be $101.

Depending on travel and team-provided meals, the Per Diem can be reduced. Here's what the article says laid out in handy chart form.

Event Effect
Road Game Day where the Club provides a Game Meal Per Diem is halved
Club leaves home for road city prior to noon in the Club's local time Full Per Diem is payable
Club leaves home for road city between noon and 7:30 in the Club's local time Per Diem is halved
Club leaves road city for home prior to noon in that city's local time Per Diem is halved
Club leaves road city for home after noon in that city's local time Full Per Diem is payable
Club leaves home city for road after 7:30 in the Club's local time No Per Diem is paid

This Article also specifically states that the Per Diem is not affected if the players are given airline food as a meal (no joke. That's amazing)

As for reimbursements, the CBA lays out that players will be reimbursed for any reasonable baggage fees they incur in the course of required travel. Reimbursements should also be paid in a timely manner. For tax purposes, the Clubs and players strive to have expenses paid directly or in a reimbursement manner which is designed to prevent such payments from being included in a player's taxable income (which also means that players aren't entitled to a "gross-up for taxes" and are solely responsible for any taxes ultimately determined to be owed).

Article 20: Game Tickets

Per this article, each club has to make two tickets available for purchase for each member of the visiting team for every game, provided that the maximum number of tickets they have to make available is 80 (which accommodates for an insanely large roster). Of those 80 maximum, 50 of them have to be in the second highest price level, excluding Luxury, Club, or Premium seating and those 50 have to be in the lower bowl of the arena. There's no limitation on the other 30 (if they're needed at all). Tickets have to be purchased no later than 10:00 a.m. for afternoon games and no later than 1:00 p.m. for evening games or they're not guaranteed anymore.

For home team players, they're all given two free tickets to each game and have the option to purchase an additional two more given the exact same criteria as above when looking at where the seats are and how much they cost. However, those tickets must be purchased at the beginning of the season instead of on gameday.

Finally, in the same pricing/seating tier as above, each cub has to make 16 tickets available to the NHLPA to purchase for regular season and 1st or 2nd-round playoff games (the number increasing to 20 for the Conference Finals and 24 for the Cup Finals).  Instead of at the beginning of the season or on the day of, the NHLPA has to fax their request for those tickets to the home club during normal business hours at least two days prior to the game for which they're purchasing and they must pay by credit card. Failing those criteria, the home team does not have to make those tickets available.

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Next up is the article on Pension Plans, which was one of the contentious issues of the last lockout. That one's a bit longer, so we'll tackle it as best we can.