Giants reverse course, offer PSL-free seats for sale

Hey, remember how the New York Giants swore that they’d be able to sell out their high-priced PSLs by opening day? Well…

After insisting for months they had no more non-premium PSLs available and fewer than 1,200 premium PSLs left, the Giants yesterday quietly announced plans to sell single-game tickets without PSLs through Ticketmaster.

The sure-to-be-controversial plan starts today, when existing PSL holders get first dibs on what the team described in a news release as “a limited number of individual game tickets for the Giants’ eight 2010 regular season games.”

What is certain to cause hard feelings will come Monday, when fans who did not buy PSLs — which started at $1,000 for the Giants — will have the chance to buy single-game tickets without the PSL requirement.

The controversy, of course, is that Giants fans have been buying PSLs after being told by the team that this would be the only way to get tickets. This won’t be as bad as 15 years ago, when the Oakland Raiders only managed to sell half their PSLs and ended up selling the rest of their seats as individual tickets, but it’s still likely to anger many PSL buyers, and potentially open the door to lawsuits.

Giants owner John Mara tried to downplay the controversy, insisting that these were just a handful of extra seats held back to comply with ADA rules and ensure that all season ticket holders had seats, and adding, “We never said that we wouldn’t sell single-game tickets. But we didn’t advertise it.” Which would be a better defense if the Giants hadn’t posted this on their own website in 2008:

The so-called PSLs, one-time payments that guarantee the purchaser associated rights to purchase Giants season tickets, will be part of the purchase price for every stadium seat in the new building.

If nothing else, it’d be interesting to see what the FTC has to say about this.

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