Personal Seat Licenses: Jets, Giants Color New Stadium Green

Last month, as I was sitting in Giants Stadium awaiting Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band to begin their first show on the Magic stadium tour, I had a familiar thought – how do the Jets feel at home playing in a stadium that is decorated in red and blue, the color of the Giants?  I then wondered how the teams agreed upon the colors in the new, state-of-the art stadium that will be shared by the teams beginning in 2010. 

Well, we have our answer – or at least the fans do.  The stadium will be covered in green.  New York Jets’ green, you ask?  No.  Green, as in the color of money.  You see both the Jets and Giants have decided to require season ticket holders to purchase  Personal Seat Licenses (PSLs), which confer ticket holders the right to purchase their season tickets.  

Although the acquisition of Brett Favre has momentarily eased the pain of Jets fans (and provided yet another revenue stream for the Jets), the prospect of shelling out thousands of dollars for the right to spend a few more thousand dollars on tickets is no less objectionable to long-time season-ticket holders.  A New Jersey legislator has even mentioned plans for legislation to ban PSLs in all New Jersey sports facilities (of course he is a bit late to the party).

I asked Gary Solomon, whose family has maintained Jets season-ticket holder for 4 decades to share his thoughts on PSLs:

As a fan and long-time Jets season ticket holder, as much as I hate the idea of billionaires charging their most loyal fans what amounts to a tax for the right to retain and then buy their tickets, I recognize that these owners are not the first in professional sports to do so.  What has my ire is the oxymoron of the word “personal”, in “Personal Seat License”. 

Personal, by definition, is singular.  The Jets and Giants are sharing a stadium, so they are taxing two sets of fans for the same seat.  Forget the fact that a PSL does not give the holder right of first refusal to buy ALL tickets to all events and use that seat.  Personal…shouldn’t I, as the PSL holder, have the right to buy concert tickets before everyone else and thus use my seat to see Spingsteen?

Two owners, one stadium.  Two sets of rules, two sets of pricing.  The Giants have announced their tiered costs, from $20,000 for the best seats to $1,000.  But the Jets have yet to announce what it will cost to retain what has been in my family for 40 years.  I have been told, although not confirmed, that I will NOT be given the choice of selecting a cheaper seat, thus incurring a lesser PSL fee, should my current seats be out of my price range.  Remember also, that the new stadium bring with it increased costs from ticket prices to beer and hot dogs.

Suffice it to say, the PSL is tantamount to a cleansing of the fan base.  Teams charging PSLs have made the choice to rid themselves of generation of fans that have held season tickets.  In their place, will be corporate groups and the wealthy.  Middle class fans will be hard pressed to retain any seats in the stadium.  The waiting list is so long they could fill 2 stadiums, so the tickets will still be sold.

One stadium, two teams.  You would think that the least they could do for their fans would be to split the cost.  Personal is singular, isn’ t it?

-Gary Solomon

Comments

  1. Shouldn’t the Jets be paying the fans for the teams they’ve puts on the field the last 40 years?

  2. Dan Fitzgerald says:

    Well said, Steve. Note that the Patriots did not sell PSLs when Gillette Stadium was built. And the Patriots were not sharing the stadium with another NFL franchise.

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Trackbacks

  1. […] contributed to Connecticut Sports Law as guest bloggers.  Ben Berger, Jarett Warner, Hanna Kim, Gary Solomon, Marilee Corr, Rob Romano, Tim Cedrone, and Dan Canavan – thank you for your fine […]

  2. […] August, with some help from Gary Solomon, I wrote about the Jets and Giants’ decision to sell PSLs in their new shared stadium.  Despite sifting through their enormous waiting list, the New York […]

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