PSLs invading New York

Hideki hurting
Game 79 (again): Beat the Mets. Beat the Mets. Step right up and beat the Mets

Personal Seat Licenses. We’ve heard about them as this amorphous concept for which people in other cities have to pay so that their teams can draw in more revenue. We know that some football teams charge outrageously high prices for what amounts to the right to buy tickets for certain seats.

And now starting in a few seasons, PSLs are coming to New York. The Giants, Super Bowl champions, have announced that every season ticket in their new stadium will be sold via PSLs. These prices for these PSLs will run from $1000 to $20,000, and these licenses serve as lifetime guarantees for that seat. It is a one-time payment of an arm and a leg.

I write about this briefly now because of the attention I’ve paid to Yankee ticket prices. Yes, the top seats new stadium is going to be expensive, but the prices are a far, far cry from those we see in other sports. A longtime RAB regular Steve wrote in about this story this morning:

To be fair to the Yankees you should comment on this. Can a regular guy go to see a Giant game anymore, or do you need to know someone? At least you can go to the Bronx with a buddy, have a couple of beers and be under the $300 mark.

Of course, the PSL issue and the price tag for a Giants game are seemingly two separate stories. Football games are very nearly prohibitively expensive and yet most teams have waiting lists that stretch on for years for season tickets. Why? Because they are only eight home games a season, and there is a limited supply for something in high demand. It isn’t affordable ā€” of fun ā€” to see the Knicks anymore.

In a way, this is the great irony of baseball and our complaints about ticket prices. As relatively expensive as it can be to go a Yankee game, it’s still pretty cheap. For example, I recently bought decent Tier Reserve seats for Monday night’s sold-out Yankees-Rangers game for a few bucks over face value off of StubHub. Never would I be able to do that for a Giants game.

For a while, fans have dreaded the PSLs. They fear that baseball teams will begin to sell them for season ticket holders in new stadiums, and sports business exports have guessed that teams could draw in upwards of $40 million off the bat for PSLs. The Cubs are debating it, and rumors have swirled around the Yanks’ ticket holder plans in the new stadium. But again, I think it’s a matter of economics. There are 81 home games, and if teams start charging seat licenses, season ticket holders may opt to buy on a game-by-game basis.

The economics of sports tickets is a prickly issue. Teams set prices; secondary markets set the true value. In the end, baseball remains one of our country’s more affordable sports, and we need to look only at the new Giants Stadium rising in New Jersey to remember why.

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Hideki hurting
Game 79 (again): Beat the Mets. Beat the Mets. Step right up and beat the Mets
  • Tom

    I agree it sucks, but you can’t compare football and baseball ticket prices. Football teams only play 16 games a season; much less supply for the demand.

  • Ben C

    Will this make it possible to get Giants season tickets in 2010?

    • LiveFromNewYork

      I have been on the waiting list for Jints season tickets for over 10 years.

  • Chris V.

    Hey guys does anyone have a link to any information about the proposed ticket prices for next year at the new Yankee Stadium? Iā€™m doing some research and could really use the help thanks.

  • mooks

    I can guarantee that I will, one way or another, buy a Giants PSL.

    I’ve been on that damn waiting list for to many years now.

    • MJ

      Funny, this news had the exact opposite effect on me. I’ve been waiting for years but I’m not going to pay a PSL on top of the already ridiculous preseason games that come with any season ticket package. NFL tickets are overpriced as it is, in my opinion. A PSL is the quickest way to drive me back to the comfort of my couch and 50″ HDTV.

  • Jersey

    Good point about the relative costs of Yankees vs. Giants tix. I wonder if anyone has done or will be doing any peer-review-caliber research on the impact of high ticket prices on fan loyalty/propensity to consume NFL product (or other sports). The soccer fan in me is specifically wondering if sustained ticket prices over the long term will help push more fans over to MLS, where the typical tix (in DC at least) or only about $30-$40 dollars. I’m skeptical this would happen, but you never know.

    • MJ

      Enough people would have to like soccer to make the switch. I don’t see that happening. As ESPN does a better job of marketing the World Cup and European championship/Champions League events, more and more people are realizing that MLS isn’t even minor league soccer. It’s shite.

      (And this is coming from someone that truly loves soccer)

  • Setty

    Ben, you should really use craigslist to get tickets to any Yankee game. For every game you can find Tier Res seats for either face value or below, depending on how far in advance you want to buy the tickets. Plus you don’t have to be charged the obscene % that stubhub takes out

  • LiveFromNewYork

    I belong to a few Yankee meetup.com groups and always try to sell my tix at face value or below and no one ever takes them.