We are just over one month away from the start of the 2010 football season. For many long time New York Jets fans, this will be a season many will remember. For some, it will be the first season in a brand new stadium in New Jersey. For others it is the start of their first ever season watching their beloved team from their couches at home. After the events of the past two years, it all culminates in a matter of weeks. It is do or die time for the New York Jets organization. Some fans think they are banking on HBO’s Hard knocks in hopes of selling more PSL’s. I have talked to a few I have already interviewed who feel it is too little too late.
Some long time season ticket holders I have interviewed feel the sales reps from the New York Jets care more about their sales and quotas more than they care about the fans. One long time holder who has had his seats along the 50 yard line experienced a sales representative who was not just out for a sales, but disrespectful.
This gentleman who wanted to remain anonymous, has had his tickets since the New York Titans. He has followed the Jets from stadium to stadium, except the new Meadowlands Stadium. He is 81 years old. When the ticket rep first contacted him before the big Coaches Club Auction in November of 2008, he acted like his best friend. He told him if he agreed to give the Jets organization $50,000 per seat for a PSL, they would not auction off his seats. He had four seats which would have totaled $200,000. He told the sales rep he was a Senior Citizen and could not afford that amount of money. The sales rep then changed his attitude and said he was not a Jets fan then if he would not do it. IS this the mentality of the sales Representatives the Jets employ? Do they care more about their quota and getting ales than doing what is right for the fans?
I have heard many stories from numerous season ticket holders since that time about sales Representatives calling time and time again pushing the sale. Talking more about numbers to get them into a seat rather than asking them why they will not commit to a PSL. Every time I was called the sales representative did not care to ask me why I would not get one, only talk about the advantages of having a PSL. This is a constant theme in the documentary, where fans are upset with the sales office and feel pushed away by the organization. Even though PSL prices were slashed by 50%, many still feel put off by the team. But many others still flocked like sheep to the lower prices. Many fans I interviewed who were against PSL’s, went to purchase them anyway as they felt they had no choice if they wanted to attend games. We all have a choice and you can say no.
There are already seats available for the 2010 New York Jets season on Stub Hub. People are buying the PSL’s only to sell off the tickets game by game. One can still get seats for every game and not be a PSL owner. You will save more money over the long term, you just will not own your seats. Plus, many state the PSL is only a football license for that team. In other stadiums across the country, if you own that seat, you own it for every event in that stadium. For Jets and Giants PSL holders, you only own your seats for that teams events. All other events you have to be on a list, await allocation to the teams, or have a ticket in another seat in the facility. So the PSL is not a TRUE PSL. It is only a football seat license. One aspect many fans care about.
Even though the documentary focuses on the Jets, many Giants season ticket holders did not purchase PSL’s. Martin Sanford who has had his seats since 1981 feels as he said “shafted” by the team. He talked about how he felt as if they did not care if he was going to buy a PSL or not. That the only ones who matter are the ones paying now and not the ones who have given thousands to the team over the years. He feels it is more about what fans will do going forward and not what they have done in the past to support a 1-15, 4-12, 2-14 team. After all it is about the new business, not old business. Martin does not care if they have an undefeated season or win a super Bowl. He just wants to see the organization eat its words and not make its money. Even though prices were reduced, Martin knows the team still has to come up with that money to pay for the new stadium. Many feel ticket prices and other costs will rise in the next five years to compensate for that reduction and cover the building costs.
Since 1996, many teams have used PSL’s in many different sports. Many long time season ticket holders did not opt into PSL’s and thus began their time watching home games from their own home. The 2010 season begins that time for many New York Jets and Giants fans. The first season they will be watching home games from their own couches instead of seats inside the stadium. Some I have talked to feel comfortable with their decision. Other fans feel awkward being home, not tailgating or taking part in Sunday rituals that have become a part of football life for them. I have come across some fans who just follow the Jets like they are being herded. Being one of the group who will do anything to follow the Jets. Some refer to it as drinking the Kool Aid.
I am going to try and be there opening night during the Monday night game to get fans reactions and feeling from opening night. I have to contact Jets personnel as well to see if I am able to film at the new stadium. Different owners so I need to get approval all over again. Plus, I have to see if I am allowed to get shots of the new stadium in the background. They have been very picky about that. If I had to pay $1,250 an hour to film at the old stadium in the parking lot, I can not imagine what they rates will be now. Yes, $1,20 per hour was the rate the NJSEA (New Jersey Sports & Exhibition Authority) was asking. Glad I was able to get that waved by the Jets. But this is a whole new stadium. Tailgating will be different too. Going to be an interesting start to a new season.