Hey … Umm … How Much Would You Pay to Pay to Watch Jets Games?

Most Jets season ticket holders have seen the handwriting on the wall for a while now when it comes to PSLs, but here’s the first official time the word has been mentioned by the team in public on the topic as far as I can tell.

A season ticket holder sent this screencap of the start of the survey onto me. After a long litany at the start of the survey on how great the whole new stadium is, they then drop this guilt trip on the person being surveyed …

The Jets have taken a substantial amount of debt to finance the construction of the new $1.3 billion stadium. Like other teams that have built stadiums in the recent past, the Jets are required to pay back this construction debt quickly.

The Jets are surveying different types and terms of Person Seat Licenses (PSLs) as one of the ways to help acheive this requirement. A PSL is an asset, like a taxi medallion, that is purchased in addition to the ticket that give the holder ownership of the seat. This holder can then sell the seat license in the future, including for any profit, to someone else if the holder no longer wishes to purchase season tickets.

PSLs have been sold in virtually every new NFL stadium built in the past 15 years as a way of paying for the construction costs. For example, the Dallas Cowboys have announced a PSL program with prices ranging [from] $2,000 to $12,000 for general admission seats and from $16,000 to $150,000 for club seats.

So … let me get this straight …

Ticket prices have been jacked well above the current rate of inflation over the past ten years, and the team is conducting surveys to ascertain just how much they can squeeze out of their most financially loyal customers’ pockets without pissing them off enough from walking away from their season tickets?

Imagine that a friend comes to you saying that he’s in serious debt and asks you to borrow money stipulating he’s not sure if he can ever pay you back. When you ask how much he needs, he responds “well … how much would you be comfortable loaning me?”

I don’t know about you, but that takes some serious balls and/or disregard for your monetary situation to phrase something in such a manner. It will be explained away as trying to be sensitive to fans’ financial situations. Believe it or not, fans aren’t stupid, so I’d hope the team could be be adults about this and call this what it really is … a shakedown.

Meanwhile, SI’s Peter King is doing PR work for Giant’s owner John Mara’s buying his sob story hook, line, and sinker about how the billionaire is losing sleep over the fact that he’s going to have to charge for PSLs … boo hoo … poor poor John Mara. Yet, somehow Peter King is the one of the most respected voices in NFL journalism … I’ll never understand it.

So many questions in my mind …

Do they care that they are pricing out fans? What happens with the PSL when the organization deems that the stadium is too old twenty years from now and wants to build another stadium? What happens to that “asset” should the team move off the financially greener pastures in another city with a better deal? I guarantee you it won’t be considered an appreciable asset should the team have to repay it … if they even would pay it back at all in that case.  Could they decrease the fans’ investment if they got more corporate sponsors than just the four corners and overall naming rights?

I’ll admit, you can’t beat the Gameday Experience at the Stadium, but to actually watch the game, I’m a TV guy. I’m sure the stadium will be beautiful, I’m sure I’ll tour it like a giddy schoolgirl, but here’s a novel idea. NO ONE FORCED THE TEAMS TO BUILD A NEW STADIUM AND WHILE DOING SO, MAKE IT THE MOST EXPENSIVE ONE THE LEAGUE HAS EVER SEEN. They are doing this to force loyal fans to finance a stadium so they can make more money off those very same fans with more expensive tickets, concessions, etc.

I don’t know if anyone from the team reads this site (nor do I really care) but if someone in the organization would try to convince me why my frustration with the situation is unfounded, I’d be obliged to hear the argument.

How do you feel about this? If you are a ticketholder, are you prepared to finance the stadium to the tune of somewhere between $2-12K per seat?

Geoff Dean
Geoff Dean

having paid 25 dollars to watch wayne gretzky, i doubt i would pay much more than that to watch anything.