Field of Schemes
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May 13, 2010

Jets at least 10,000 short on PSL sales, risking blackouts

The simmering New York Jets PSL crisis finally blew up bigtime today, when team owner Woody Johnson told the New York Post that the Jets have more than 10,000 personal seat licenses still unsold with three months to go before opening day. A "league source" told the Post that the figure was actually 17,000; Johnson denied that but said it was more than 10,000, which I guess means it could be 16,999.

Either way, it's not exactly a sign that PSL sales are "going well," as Jets officials insisted back in March. If the information in the Post story is correct, the Jets have sold out most of their club seats and non-PSLed upper deck seats, but lower-deck non-club seats without PSLs are staying on the shelves.

As discussed here previously, this puts the Jets in a bind: They can't start selling lower-deck seats without requiring PSLs, because fans who'd already bought PSLs after being told they were the only way to get those seats would be outraged. Yet if the seats don't sell, the team gets blacked out on TV — which makes all Jets fans outraged.

Conceivably they could do some selective discounting of PSLs in the hopes that the outrage would at least be diminished then, but Johnson insisted to the Post that he'll consider nothing of the sort:

"[They are] fairly priced right now. [They're] selling, and [they're] selling right along our trendlines, so we're good to go. ... We'll eventually sell [the remaining PSLs]. I'm 100-percent confident that we'll sell them. Whether it's exactly in the timeline that we predict now, we're going to sell them. I think our product is too good. And when people see the stadium and come see [non-football] events here, they will sell."


The one other option here: Newsday's Neil Best reports (crazy-expensive subscription required, but summarized here) that the Jets could write a check to the NFL for the visiting team's share (34%) of the unsold tickets, and the blackout, at least, would be lifted. That seems a pretty expensive way to avoid admitting that your pricing plan is farkakte, but this is why I don't run an NFL team.


Should Santa Clara be terrified right now? They might want to know who fills in the funding gap if PSL sales Jet.

Posted by Thomas on May 14, 2010 11:52 AM

Please see the article on Santa Clara Plays Fair's website on PSLs and blackouts. We're already blacked out for Raiders games. 49ers fans who are aware that they will have to buy PSLs for the Santa Clara stadium are afraid they will be priced out of their seats.
The 49ers have hidden the Stadium Authority, Santa Clara's agency that will sell the PSLs, from view in the 49ers campaign mailers. That's because they don't want fans to know about the PSLs and don't want Santa Clarans to realize that an agency of Santa Clara has to sell the PSLs plus naming rights etc. to raise $330 million for stadium construction. And the Term Sheet has many loopholes in stadium operations, such as the 49ers only have to pay the operations/maintenance costs they think are 'reasonable' and there is a cap on the public safety costs the 49ers have to pay. And the 49ers aren't responsible for the Stadium Authority bond debt. We keep saying 'if there is no risk from the Stadium Authority, then why are they hiding it?' See the articles on our website about PSLs, the $444 million in stadium construction money due from Santa Clara (which shows how the SA is being hidden), and the youtube video clips of what's going on in Santa Clara on the SCvoter channel.

Posted by SantaClaraTaxpayer on May 14, 2010 05:59 PM

I read these articles with great concern because I'd think the Jets have a larger fanbase than the 49er and yet even they can't sell their PSLs.

I somehow doubt that Mayor Mahan worries about this though.

Posted by Santa Clara Jay on May 16, 2010 01:20 AM

Talking about screwing up a close-as-ever-could-be sure thing with that PSL nonsense. I don't think the Gints are any better off, either. I guess that means both Channels 2 and 5 will have to air something else when games are on.

Well, there's still radio for those who can't be at the stadium.

Posted by Transic on May 17, 2010 06:30 PM

An article by Dr. Roger Noll in the SF chronicle on May 16, 2010 stated that one 'scary' aspect of Santa Clara's stadium construction plan is that it repeats a mistake that Oakland made - in which the stadium (Coliseum) authority sold the seat licenses instead of making the team responsible.

Posted by SantaClaraTaxpayer on May 18, 2010 03:46 PM

And RE PSLs the city officials have the nerve to say they've learned from the mistakes of other cities in coming up with the 49er term sheet.

They didn't even learn the most basic lesson of the debacle 35 miles up the road. Unbelievable.

Posted by SANTA CLARA JAY on May 18, 2010 07:10 PM

As a Jets season ticket holder of 29 years I was insulted they asked $20,000 (now $10,000) for each of my seats (4). The letters for the PSL progran were addressed to "Dear Loyal Jets Fans." Where was the loyal Jets Management? They wanted us to foot the bill for a new stadium so they could soak us for more profits?
Take a hike. From now on I'm rooting for the only New York NFL team: Go Bills!

Posted by Uncle Den on July 17, 2010 10:53 PM

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