Press Box Article

Jets Fans Find Early Shopping for Seat Licenses Saved Money

Aaron Kuriloff and Chris Eichelberger

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

New York Jets fans may have saved as much as $30,000 a spot when they bought their licenses for premium seats at the start of the National Football League team's auction this week.

Sean Pate, a spokesman for EBay Inc.'s Stubhub, said an oversupply of the licenses on the auction's first day depressed prices before the on-line ticket auction site cut the number available by two-thirds.

Seats 1-4 in the first row of Section 113 on the 50-yard line sold for $35,000 each on Oct. 20, according to data from another on-line ticket market, Seats 25 and 26 in the same row brought $55,000 each the next day. Stubhub held 50 auctions on Oct. 20, selling hundreds of seats. The next day, that number was reduced to about 15-20 auctions, for about 75-80 tickets.

``There were probably three times as many auctions when we started on Sunday than you're seeing now,'' Pate said. ``What we learned was that it diluted the overall bidding prices. So we elected to scale back the number of seats we offered on any day to make it more digestible.''

Jets spokesman Bruce Speight declined to comment, saying that public statements from the team could affect bidding.

The Jets announced in August that the team would auction 2,000 licenses for amenity-rich club seats located behind the team's bench in the East Rutherford, New Jersey, stadium that is scheduled to open in 2010.

Top Seats

Paying the one-time fee for seat licenses gives fans the right to buy $700 tickets in the Jets' ``Coaches Club.'' The tickets include access to the sideline five yards from the Jets' bench, a private bar and lounge, food and beverage service, parking and increased ability to buy tickets for other events at the stadium.

Teams use seat licenses to finance stadiums, like the $1.6 billion arena the Jets are building with the Giants. Fans can sell the licenses to each other, meaning they may accrue value.

Those who jumped into the auction first got a bargain, said Kyle Burks, president of LLC.

``If you're a Jets fan and you bought your seats early, you definitely got a heck of a good deal,'' Burks said. ``You've already made money.''

The most expensive five licenses have sold for between $50,300 and $65,100 each, according to the Jets. Pate said Stubhub is selling seats in smaller batches than on the auction's first day and not rushing the process.

``It's more important to get your target price for what you are selling than it is to offer everything at one time and get below market value,'' he said. ``We don't have to sell them all right now.''