More 49ers fans dumping seat licenses, because 49ers’ new stadium sucks

The San Francisco 49ers‘ new stadium in Santa Clara has had some problems since it opened last year — the grass won’t stay put, it was brutally hot, getting in and out by car was often painful, and the stadium lights blinded nearby airline pilots. And now, according to KGO-TV, some seat license holders are fed up and want out of their season-ticket deals:

If you were hoping to get your hands on a San Francisco 49ers Season Builders License, or SBL, you’re in luck. Thousands are now available, but re-sellers say it has nothing to do with the team’s current record. Still, a growing number of fans are very dissatisfied…

“Half the stadium, we get beat up by the sun. So if you’re going to watch a game, you want to enjoy, drink a few beers. Here, you drink a few beers, and you get beat up, come home with sunburn, it’s just a bad experience,” [San Jose resident Tuan] Le said.

Other fans complained that the 49ers changed their ticket policy this year, sending only electronic tickets that can’t be printed until 72 hours before the game, making it harder to sell unwanted tickets.

Now, it’s only 3,000 licenses that are up for resale, up only slightly from last spring, and not all that much in a 68,000-seat stadium. And besides, the magic of PSLs (or SBLs as the 49ers call them) is that the team doesn’t have to give a crap about any of this: They’ve sold the licenses already, and it’s the fans’ problem if they made a bad investment.

The more interesting question is what this means for plans to finance stadiums in Los Angeles by similar means: Will L.A. fans, seeing the mess in Santa Clara, be more hesitant to plunk down for Rams/Raiders/Chargers PSLs? Nobody knows, but then nobody knows how viable those PSL sales projections were in the first place. This is a cautionary tale for somebody, that’s for sure, but whether it’s for football fans, for city officials in Inglewood and Carson, or for cities that think they have to outbid L.A. for the right to keep their teams is yet to be determined.

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23 comments on “More 49ers fans dumping seat licenses, because 49ers’ new stadium sucks

  1. So eyeballing it, that’s a 15-17% increase (the link has 2,565 available last year). Is that normal? How much fluctuation is there in the PSL market?

    I did a quick check for any resource on PSL market data (very quick, only tried a couple of word combinations) and nothing came up on the first couple of pages. Is there any such thing? I’m sure STR has data on this but because they also sell consulting services they don’t make it public.

    Also, I can’t help but think that if the 9’ers weren’t terrible fans would be complaining less about the sun in their faces. It’s the outdoors, wear a hat.

  2. The only legitimate complaint about the stadium is the poor grass quality. Everything else is just whining for the sake of whining.

  3. I checked out the stadium earlier this year for a soccer game because I can’t afford the price of football tickets, even if I wanted to see a game. The whole brand new stadium experience leaves something to be desired. The view of the playing field from the seat was real nice, but that’s fully expected of any functional stadium. From the exterior, the place looks very uninviting – someone said erector set, and I agree. Traffic access is a real mess, as the only public transit option is light rail. VTA hasn’t really worked here because San Jose and the rest of the county is so sprawled out, light rail only serves a tiny fraction of the population. Throw in some very vicious beatdowns that have been prominently featured in Bay Area media, and I can see how fans who bought those outrageous PSLs are now having second thoughts. And then there’s the 9ers’ poor play, since moving into Levi’s.

  4. If you’re used to the SF microclimate, South Bay weather can be pretty alarmingly hot.

    That said, I agree that if the 49ers were winning, no one would mind.

  5. hahaha the funny thing is that the 49ers are making 20% on each SBL sale. So the more fans sale the seats the more money they extract from this scheme. The seller and buyer split the fee.

    Terrible team, EXpensive, whinny violent fans and they still find a way to make money. SMH

  6. Wait, the 49ers collect a commission on SBL resales? That is some serious evil genius.

  7. I actually thought it would be higher, I expected 10s of thousands but 3k does not seem like a lot. These are probably people who actually thought this was an investment and now jumping ship. But that whinny fan base has a lot of money, so a lot of them don’t really care.

    But it does not really matter, from the teams point of view, the SBL is just changing hands to another person who will continue to buy tickets and they take a commission.

  8. I haven’t been to the stadium but it’s been widely reported that the sun shines on half for most of the game. You can clearly see this during the telecasts. In this part of the bay the temperature soars well into the 90s and no, simply wearing a hat will not help. Its way too brutal.

  9. I read somewhere a fan shared that the fine print says you can just walk away and lose everything you’ve put in but not owe anymore on the seats.

    Can anyone confirm this either way?

  10. @Andrew sort of. If you paid off the SBL in full, yes you can walk away and lose that money. But If you financed the SBL you can still walk away, but a collection agency will come looking for the rest of the SBL money owed.

    The fine print says if they take the SBL away for what ever reason and you still owe through financing, you won’t owe the rest.

    If that was the case I imagine tons of people would just pay the minimums which was 10% a year and then walk away any time. They not going to let you off that easy hahaha

  11. I wonder what you have to do to get your SBL revoked. If it doesn’t require jail time, it might be worth it.

  12. I would guess the probability of having your SBL revoked is a function of how much you might owe on it (owe a lot -> ~0% probability you will have it revoked).

  13. Maybe they should build one with a dome next to it. This way on sunny days, games will be played in the dome. During rainy days, in the non-dome.

  14. mcg, during football season the temperature basically never touches the 90s in Santa Clara. Not to mention the 49ers have a backloaded home schedule and the early home games are disproportionately skewed towards later starts. Again, people complaining about the weather are whining just for the sake of whining.

  15. I went to the stadium in late March on a warm day to see Wrestlemania 31, and this is what I came away with:
    1. Weather wise the issue is that this is a warm weather area for a stadium which isnt domed…………………so it’s just like many, many other stadiums. C’mon, I get that it’s hot, but shouldnt we expect that? I mean, the events are held in the afternoon in a warm town; its gonna be hot, so wear short sleeves, wear shorts, wear a hat, wear sunglasses and drink a lot of water. Its like these people forgot about where they live.
    2. The stadium itself is a normal football stadium. Its nothing special, but its obviously astoundingly better than the other 2 NFL stadiums in the Bay Area of the last 50 years. It’s fine.
    3. The roads however are as badly designed as hyped; the traffic was a total disaster before and after. How in gods name could they not figure out how to manage the roads and the parking lot despite years of planning? The teams may be (rightfully) complaining about the field, but the city needs to start listening to the fans (rightfully) complaining about getting in and out of the stadium; absolutely awful.

    Really, I had no issue with the stadium itself, it just sucks getting to once you get off the 101, and sucks leaving until you get back on it. That’s the thing that deserves to be crapped on (well, excluding the teams terrible play, but that has nothing to do with this debate)

  16. I know there are non-domed stadiums in cities even hotter than San Jose, but there is something about the angle of the sun that makes a large part of the stadium really unbearable. This has been reported by many and, as I recall, someone even died there due to the heat. I was watching the game today and you could see that half, yes I would guess HALF, of the seats behind the announcers were empty during a critical point in the game.

    I wouldn’t know. I’ve only been there to play ice hockey while it was set up for an outdoor game. It was fun and there was no traffic. :)

    Speaking of traffic, yes it’s as bad as people say. Some friends of mine had free tickets to an exhibition game and didn’t go saying “Sit in traffic for two hours to see Tony Romo play two series? No thanks!”

  17. “Will Los Angeles fans see the mess in Santa Clara”… what, are you joking? If fans ever “saw the mess” in another city we’d never get any stadiums built. NFL fans are blissfully ignorant which is why we have so much fun taking them and their respective cities to the cleaners. Also I resent the characterization of our stadium building efforts as a “mess”; they are a glorious monument to the brilliance of us billionaires.

    49er fans crying about the stadium is a just a proxy for their real need to hate ownership which let their team turn from gold to shite in about 5 months. Seeing and being seen and soaking in the sun will all be things the L.A. fans love, and how the team does will mostly be an afterthought. Angelenos will snap up those PSL’s like piranhas eating a houseboy who fell into the river!

  18. well, no fun now being a Ram beating a loser like SF. The only smart guy there was the coach who moved north. Kinda “ahh schucks” to see the 49ers gonna be so easy to beat now.

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