Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bids for Jets' PSLs topping 65 grand

Away from baseball, some staggering numbers coming out of the auction the Jets are having to sell PSLs to their new stadium.

Bids for Jets' PSLs topping 65 grand

The last couple of weeks have been spent writing about fans paying four to five times the face value of a ticket to get into a postseason Phillies game.

But what they're shelling out seems like small potatoes when you read what some New York Jets fans are bidding for a seat in the exclusive Coaches Club section at the new Meadowlands Stadium that will open in 2 years. Online bidding has reached $65,100 per seat through the first two days of the auction that the Jets are conducting for the 2,000 seats that will be situated near the 50-yard-line and behind the Jets bench, where fans will be close enough to yell, "Hey, Brett, up here!!!! I'm open!!!!!" 

According to the Associated Press story by Dennis Waszak Jr., fans can specify which seats they want to bid on through StubHub. This public auction, which started Sunday and runs through Oct. 27, is the first time that a U.S. sports team has taken this approach to sell its PSLs. No doubt others will follow given the success of this sale.

The Jets got things rolling last Thursday with an auction preview party at The Four Seasons restaurant in Manhattan. That generated a winning bid for a pair of PSLs on the 50-yard line at $200,000 per seat.

The auction’s first day yielded its top two winning bids, with fans pledging $65,100 and $61,100 per seat. The top bid today was $55,100 per seat, with the next highest $38,100 per seat. And that's AFTER the Jets laid an egg out in Oakland Sunday afternoon, losing to a Raiders team that just got its coach first a couple weeks back. Call this kind of investment a commitment to the future, not the present. The Jets are 3-3 and seemingly going nowhere despite signing Brett Favre to a contract this past offseason. At least the early returns aren't good. 

That PSL fee doesn't cover the cost of the ticket, another $700 a game. But it will put ticketholders in a spot where they can leave their seats and watch the game from a railed-off section of the field 5 yards behind the Jets’ bench, or from a bar and lounge area directly behind them.

According to the story, "along with complimentary food and beverages, Coaches Club members will receive free parking and can buy tickets to other stadium events. Fans will also be able to stand in the tunnel before games and listen to the coach’s postgame press conference from a few feet away."

An 82,500-seat stadium, it will be shared by the Jets and Giants, the league's defending champs. PSLs for the Giants won't exceed $20,000 per seat.

All of these numbers pale to what's going on in Dallas, where PSLs to that billion-dollar stadium opening in 2010 start at $16,000 and top out at $150,000. That's just for the right to buy your tickets there for the next 30 years, or about the time they'll be finished paying off Terrell Owens' contract. Those tickets will start at $340 per seat per game.

“The way they’re pricing it, the best seats in the house have been eliminated from everybody except the very wealthy,” an unidentified ticket broker told ticketnews.com last December. “They’re basically financing the stadium before they even sell a ticket. It’s a great business plan.” 

Paul Vigna
About this blog
Paul Vigna still has the seat he wrestled out of the concrete at Connie Mack Stadium parked in the finished basement, a 1980 Phillies championship mirror hanging above it. Now, why he’s kept an autograph of former Flyer Bruce Gamble on a sheet of Hockey Hall of Fame paper is another story. A native of Philly who grew up in Lansdale, he’s an assistant sports editor at the Daily News in charge of special projects who has written two columns related to sports and consumers: View From the Seats and Savvy Consumer.

ABOUT THIS BLOG:
Athletic contests were, for a long time, simply fun and games. Nowadays they’re just a small part of a sports entertainment industry that puts billions of dollars into play and a number of issues into motion. Moneyball indeed. You might be closer to the action than ever before, but that privilege comes at a price - and often it’s beyond what you can afford.

With that as the backdrop we’ll use this blog to dig out stories and swap advice about how the fan experience is changing and what it’s costing you now and in the future. Some of it will educate, some will let you vent. And in a sports panel format, it should allow for a consensus of opinion that can carry some weight.

Reach Paul at vignap@phillynews.com.

Paul Vigna
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