Press Box Article


New York Post

Rich Calder



August 27, 2008

Call it the Favre fee!

The Jets haven't won a Super Bowl in 40 years, but they're still going to charge higher fees than the defending champion Giants for the right to buy the best tickets at the new Meadowlands stadium both teams will share starting in 2010.

Gang Green revealed a complex, yet innovative, plan yesterday that unexpectedly throws some season ticket holders a bone: it exempts all 27,000 seats in the new stadium's upper level from controversial one-time fees – called "personal seat licenses" or PSLs.

But the Jets, which traded for superstar quarterback Brett Favre three weeks ago, are requiring fans who want better views in the 82,500-seat stadium to pay from $4,000 to $25,000 per seat just for the right to continue buying season tickets.

If they don't, they lose their tickets, which will range from $95 to $700 per game once the new stadium opens. The most expensive tickets are now $115.

PSLs for the best 2,000 seats directly behind the Jets bench will be sold through an Internet auction this fall open to current season ticket holders and any Jet fan that joins the team's waiting list for tickets beforehand.

These "Coaches Club" seats provide free food, parking and booze, and unprecedented team access, including the ability to watch post-game press conferences live.

Experts said they could command up to $70,000 each.

The Giants are charging $1,000 to $20,000 for all seat licenses, but, unlike the Jets, require them for the entire stadium.

Jets owner Woody Johnson, during a Meadowlands news conference yesterday, said the team realized "it had to have seats that had no PSLs" based on researching its fan base.

But he said a slumping economy forced the team to still require PSLs for a majority of the seats to help offset its share of construction costs on the $1.6 billion stadium.

He said he expected the PSLs to raise more than $170 million after taxes. The Giants estimate raising a similar amount.

Besides the auctioned seats, the Jets are selling PSLs on a priority system based first on seniority and then on seat location.

So ,in some cases, longtime ticket holders in the lower level could bounce fans in the cheap seats and force those fans to deal with the steep PSL prices. However, the Jets said they expect few ticket holders to loose their seats if they can't afford the PSLs because many individuals in the upper level might want to upgrade seats.

While some fans said they were pleasantly surprised that one-third of the seats won't have PSLs, others were furious with the plan.

Many ripped it for potentially splitting up groups of fans who've sat together for decades – particularly longtime season ticket holders with the best seats in the house who are being priced out to attract the filthy rich.

And then there are the skeptics who believe Favre was specifically brought in to sugarcoat the painful expense of seat licenses.

"This is the price we're paying for Brett Favre," said Mike Crystal, 42, of Wayne, NJ, whose two seats behind the bench go back 1963 when Crystal's granddad purchased them while the team was known as the Titans.

"I'm going to throw up. How am I going to compete in an auction against companies like Exxon to keep these seats?" he said, adding that he'd likely drop his seats, which will jump from $115 to $700 a ticket.

Johnson said the team's pricing plan wasn't altered by the Favre acquisition or the Giant PSL plan.

Kyle Burks, president of, the world's largest broker of PSLs, called the Jet licensing plan a "real bargain" that fans can cash in on.

He estimated the $25,000 PSLs could easily be resold for $35,000 just one year after the stadium opens.

Regarding the auctioned seats, Burks predicted they'll go for $25,000 to $70,000 each. But he said a drawback is that the high PSL prices will lead to more Jet fans having to relocate to cheaper seats than their Giant counterparts.

Jet PSL buyers will have the ability to finance their plans over five years.

The team also announced that season ticket holders with PSLs will have the perk of getting first shot to buy tickets to concerts and some other stadium events.

The Giants and Jets are trying to devise a plan where both teams' ticket holders could share this perk.

Twelve of the NFL's 32 teams have previously used PSLs to offset costs to build new stadiums.

While no other New York or New Jersey team in any pro sports league has previously used PSLs, the NBA's Nets are considering forcing them on its fan base to help pay for construction of a new 18,000-seat arena planned for the club in Brooklyn.