Rams and Chargers to repay PSL fees to fans, only not really

The Los Angeles Rams and Chargers have announced the impending start of personal seat license sales for their new stadium when it opens in 2020, which is always a fun moment because it lets you see how much teams think their fans will put up with paying just for the right to pay more money on top of that for actual tickets. So what do these two teams that have had trouble drawing flies at their temporary digs think Los Angelenos will spend to see games at their new one?

  • For the Rams, PSLs will start at $1,000 for the cheap seats, and go up to $100,000 for the priciest ones.
  • For the Chargers, PSLs will start at “we’re not saying yet, we don’t want to frighten off anyone who might actually consider themselves a Los Angeles Chargers fan” and run to a maximum of $75,000.

The Los Angeles Times describes these particular seat licenses as “an NFL first,” since it’s more a long-term low-interest loan than an actual purchase: After 50 years, the price will be repaid to whoever holds the PSL at that point. In practice, this isn’t much different from an outright purchase — if I’m using this present value calculator right, $100,000 in 2068 dollars is worth about $8,700 in money today, meaning it will cost the Rams and Chargers pennies on the dollar to “repay” the license fees shortly after first contact with the Vulcans. I’m not entirely sure why they’re going this route — marketing ploy or tax dodge are my two best guesses — but it’s not a significant departure from the traditional PSL route.

As for what fans will get for the “premium” seat-license experience, the Orange County Register has you covered, and it apparently will involve lots of sitting in oddly shaped chairs talking to no one while enjoying a view of the seats on the opposite side of the stadium:

And let’s not forget jumping up and down with glee in an almost entirely empty room while looking at who knows what, maybe a wall with a big-screen TV on it, maybe just a wall:

If nothing else, I’m glad to see that the L.A. stadium clubs will feature seating that is a full yard wide, to accommodate Americans’ growing rumps. Truly state of the art.


14 comments on “Rams and Chargers to repay PSL fees to fans, only not really

  1. Looks like they took some unused concept drawings from the Logan’s Run reboot.

    Anyway, the arctic had its warmest winter ever, see ice is melting and we’re all going to die from ecological disaster. So, sure, promise to give money back in 50 years. Why not?

    Eat Arby’s.

    • “see ice” and “see food” diets are scary. Did you know that climate change occurs on Mars? It also occurs on the sun.

      • Did you know there’s no life on Mars? We know climate changes, but not usually this rapidly. And when it does change this quick, lots of stuff goes extinct. Also, when it has changed this quick, an event triggered it, like an asteroid or a volcano, or in this case, lots of burning of fossil fuels.

        • Climate change is going to be expensive to deal with, and it is sad we cannot stop ourselves from pooping in our own bed so to speak. But we most certainly are not “all going to die from ecological disaster”.

          • Tell me that after the water riots: https://io9.gizmodo.com/famine-and-water-riots-are-coming-warns-new-intergover-1555054047

  2. Someday some team’s fans are going to get smart and say “you know, if we all agree not to buy PSL’s, the team will quickly stop trying to make us pay money for the right to pay them even more money.”

    • I guess the bigger idiot theory works as well for fans as it does for franchise owners.

      When thinking about PSLs, I like to remember that there are people who pay hundreds of dollars a year to watch sports in their own living rooms on televisions and cable boxes/satellite receivers that they also pay for themselves. And all those programs include commercials that the subscribers are paying for the privilege of watching.

      I’ve no doubt that NFL marketing is working on a way to convince subscribers that they should also pay a pouring rights/concession fee to the NFL’s official alcohol & food suppliers for drinking and eating their own food in their own living rooms.

  3. As renters, the Chargers should counter the Rams, and go without PSLs. Use a price you see is the price you pay approach. Works for Southwest Airlines.

    • I think the PSLs are supposed to cover the Charger’s portion of the stadium construction. So they cannot forgo them completely unless the team can pony up the money separately, which based on their past negotiations it’s pretty clear they cannot.

  4. The first time I sat in club seats was when my then girlfrield (now wife) won two for the Redskins in their then new stadium in Raljon Maryland. The seats were only half sold (club seats not counting on sell outs, and they over build them) and even then, it seemed that most of the people were inside hanging out at the bar. It was still maybe September or October so the weather was not that cold.

    • Many teams using 1990s facilities have realized that people prefer to mingle rather than stay in their isolated boxes. So you see teams like the Blues and Blackhawks tearing out boxes and replacing them with clubs. The bolder teams will ask their cities to pay for this conversion. And the even bolder ones will demand completely new facilities.

  5. I suppose besides the tax dodge (loan vs. income perhaps) it has the interesting attempt at an effect to make these PSL “heirlooms” like Packers tickets are supposed to be (though I think the bloom is off the rose with many teams that have pretended to have scarce tickets for years, like the Redskins).

    The idea of going to 8-10 NFL games for 50 years sounds like a special kind of hell to me, but I suppose grandpa can pull up the kids around the TV and say “youngsters, someday you’ll be going to these games” and that will make it special for some.

  6. Glad to see that the bridge set of the starship Enterprise was able to be repurposed after the last movie.

  7. There are folks who consider themselves LA Charger’s fans? Really? Are you sure that’s what they said?