Link: PSL Update

How are things going for the season ticket sales? According to New York Times columnist Richard Sandomir, we don’t exactly know. While the upper bowl is completely filled, the team isn’t giving out numbers on the lower bowls.

The Jets are not saying exactly where they are in the sales process other than to say it is going well.

“We expected a drop-off after the season, but they’ve kept up at a strong pace,” said Matt Higgins, the Jets’ executive vice president for business operations. “We’re not putting out claims that we’ll sell out tomorrow, but we expect to sell out before the season.”

Higgins said that about a month ago, the team repriced about 6,000 seats in sections straddling the goal line, cutting $10,000 licenses to $7,500 and $6,000 each. “We’re almost sold out of them,” he said.

The team’s in-house sales force is seeking P.S.L. buyers beyond its base of season-ticket holders and its waiting list. Higgins said that sales people had been cold-calling individual and corporate buyers.

“We’ve been doing that for some time,” he said. “We buy lists, we call targets identified by a media-buying firm.” He added, “You can’t sell out club seats by selling to your existing season-ticket base.”

Higgins said the team had sold out of its 27,000 upper-deck seats, which were available without licenses, and cost $95 to $125 per game for season tickets. But some of those seats have opened up as fans upgraded to licensed seats nearby when those ticket prices were cut.

82,500 minus 27,000 is 55,500, and if the team isn’t saying, then it’s probably not good, because it means they’re still hoping to get max dollar on whatever inventory remains and the best way to do that is to say nothing. If it was public as to how many seats remained, those who have already made purchases might get some buyer’s remorse, and anyone who was thinking of getting in would probably hold the team’s feet to the fire in terms of the sale price.

While we’re sure that the lower seats have sold a fair share, I’d still venture to guess that there’s a healthy base of lower seats still available to fans — and might be into 2011 or 2012 season. Basically what we predicted to happen, sounds like has happened. Season ticketholders with the best seats (and best seniority) have flocked to the upper bowl, where seats have no PSLs associated leaving the lower bowl a ghost town at hundreds of dollars a seat, and tens of thousands per PSL.

By looking at the official PSL map, I can see why the lower end zone seats sold so quickly, it’s the best deal on the lower level, so potential ticket holders rushed at the opportunity to get lower bowl seats so “cheap” … when you compare it to $15,000, $30,000, even $50,000 for PSLs attached to other lower bowl seats.

I’ve never been reticent to say that I think that PSLs are a less than savory method for teams to get fans to subsidize the single biggest way for an NFL team to make money that stays exclusively with that team (not shared revenue like TV contracts) and thirty years from now, when a new stadium is built, guess who’s going to have to pay for PSLs again? So while fans invest into helping defray the cost of building the stadium for the teams, that investment is not recouped via the concerts or Super Bowl or any other such revenue that the team will draw from the stadium.

Personally, if I had the money to spend on seats I wouldn’t, but that’s just me. I love being at the game, but for my money, I’d spend the requisite $10,000-$20,000 on renovating a room into a home theatre, or something to that effect.