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Jets Season Tickets: A Thing of the Past

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  •  November 14, 2016
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Being a New York Jets season ticket holder was one of the highlights of my youth. Waking up early on Sunday mornings and heading out to Giants Stadium with my family created memories that will never be forgotten. Some good. Some bad. But we always had a great time. Whether we were forced to endure a Dan Marino fake spike play or a couple years of Rich Kotite, we always could not wait to get back in those seats. I got on my father’s shoulders for thunderous “J-E-T-S” chants led by Fireman Ed in which the entire stadium would rock in unison. I grew up with the same people sitting in my section year after year. They became part of our family. Jets season tickets were the best value in town.

Leon Hess did not know much about putting a winning team together but he knew how to keep his customers happy. As late as 1997 – less than 20 years ago – every seat in the stadium was $25. My father paid $400 for 2 season tickets. The Jets were one of the last teams that forced their fans to pay for the preseason.

The same seats that my family owned in section 131 of the old stadium for $25 in 1997 now cost $700/game at MetLife. You have to pay an absurd $25,000 PSL for the right to buy them. What used to cost $200/season is now $7000/season (plus PSL money). The kicker? It isn’t nearly as much fun.

So my question to the Jets front office is: What are you going to do about it? Where is the value in being a season ticket holder? This past game, tickets in my section were being sold for 1/3 of the face value on the secondary market to people that were NOT forced to pay PSL’s or for preseason tickets. Let’s dive a bit deeper in to why season ticket holders feel so ripped off.

Ticket Prices
Let’s say for the sake of this article that the face value of your ticket is $100. I am only using these numbers to illustrate my point as I know that most people are paying more than that. That price is an illusion. It is a trick to make you think that the tickets are $100, when in fact you are paying 25% more than that because the team forces you to buy worthless preseason tickets. A $100 face value means that over the course of the entire season, you are paying $1000 for 8 tickets. Nobody in their right mind would ever buy the two preseason games if they were not forced to. When you take that in to consideration, your tickets actually cost $125/each.

But wait, there is more! If you bought a $5000 PSL and financed it over the course of 15 years, you are on the hook for another $333/year (+ interest) or an additional $42/game on top of that $125. The face value of your ticket just went up from $100 to $167/ticket.

It isn’t hard to see why season ticket holders feel so ripped off. The same ticket that they are (in essence) paying $167 for are currently being dumped on sites like StubHub for $20-$30.

Late-Season Meaningless Games
I consider these to be games played at home when the team was already realistically eliminated from playoff contention. Since moving in to MetLife there have been 12 of these games (Two in 2012, one in 2013, four in 2014 and there will be 5 this year). These games are typically played in cold weather late in the season. The resale value of these tickets is close to $0. The building is half empty and loaded with visiting team fans.

So let’s build the cost of the tickets to these 12 games in to base price of owning season tickets and spread it out over the course of the 6.5 years in the new stadium. That is an average of another $184/season that most fans probably would not spend. Would any season ticket holder be willing to buy tickets to the last four games this season if they didn’t already do that in advance? Certainly not at face value.

Season Ticket Holder Benefits

Let’s break down the Jets “Season Ticket Holder Benefits” as described on their website:


– Exclusive opportunity to purchase single game tickets prior to the general public.

Oh! So we get the right to buy MORE tickets that are just as easy to purchase (and often cheaper) on the secondary market.

– Access to online account management tools, including the ability to post season tickets for re-sale, print tickets from home and forward tickets to friends.
That and 4 quarters will get you a dollar.

– First right of refusal to purchase playoff tickets.
Playoff tickets? We haven’t had a home playoff game since 2002

– The ability to earn credit through the Jets Referral program.
So… If we dupe friends/family in to getting in on this horrible investment, we will get a discount on our tickets?

– A unique season ticket holder gift every year.
A hat or a cooler. Seems worth it.

– Access to reserved parking.
The very same parking you can buy on the secondary market.

– The opportunity to purchase tickets to concerts and other stadium events.
But not ALL events. Only some.

– Personalized service from Jets Season Ticket Account Executives.
So if I have a question, somebody is guaranteed to take my call? What a perk!

– Access to gameday guide preview emails prior to every home game.
Now THIS is worth the price of a PSL. They will forward you a bulk email!


Why Purchase Season Tickets?

Good question. There is no longer any good reason to make that sort of commitment to the team. Not when you can buy tickets to any game you want on the secondary market. This is not an article telling fans to stay home. By all means, continue to buy tickets and attend games. But the NFL has finally gone too far with the PSL & preseason requirements. They got greedy and spit in the faces of the fans who helped build the league in to what it is. Not one Jets fan asked for MetLife Stadium to be built. That stadium was built in order to maximize the amount of money that Jets & Giants ownership could make out of clubs, luxury boxes and premium seating while asking the fans to finance it. It was an absolutely absurd “investment” that they successfully duped their most loyal customers into buying.

If anybody is being logical and looks at the numbers as I have presented them, they will realize that the best course of action is to consider PSL money already spent to be sunk cost and move on. You will wind up in a much better place financially and still be able to attend any game that you want. We are the customers. Ownership and management are supposed to earn our money. At some point, they decided to dictate their terms to us. It is time for the fans to take that power back.

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