Most people are still feeling the effects of a sluggish economy & most professional sports teams struggle to fill seats. The 49ers, however, are taking full advantage of their near Super Bowl run last season by offering $80,000 PSLs (Personal Seat Licenses) on 1,000 seats in the stadium.
Despite the ridiculous price tag, the 49ers say they are nearly sold out. These seats apparently cost $80,000 upfront & then $375 per game. Obviously the normal fan is priced out of these seats.
My guess is that the 49ers are targeting corporate buyers for these seats, especially since they’re nearly sold out. More & more teams are courting corporations to buy up their ridiculously priced suites, club seats & now PSLs. If the companies are buying, then it’s smart business.
That is, so long as it isn’t to the detriment of long-time, loyal fans.
The report from Pro Football Talk tells of 66 year old Henry Gross who has had season tickets on the $50 yard line at $129/ticket. To keep his seats, he’ll not only have to pay $375/ticket, but he’ll have to pay $30,000 for each seat as an upfront PSL fee.
I get going after big business to cash in… But forcing true fans out by making the seats literally unaffordable? That’s bad business. Even people who could afford it, as Mr. Gross appears able to do, would be foolish to pay that kind of money. Gross said the following:
“I took [the 49ers' proposal] to two people I’m close to, guys who are much wealthier than I am. They had been season-ticket holders in the past. I asked each, independently, would they like the rights? Is it a good deal? Both of them told me it’s horrible.”
There are aspects of this that are brilliant. Honestly. Capitalize on last season’s remarkable, but unexpected run while fans are still excited & before the harsh reality of the NFL can set in with a few bad breaks. Capitalize on the hungry corporate market to sell overpriced seats & increase your bottom line. That’s brilliant if you can pull it off.
But pushing out loyal & hard working, everyday people? That’s not a good look.