- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- As the Titans’ season has gone south, I’ve suggested fans can have a big bearing on what new team president and CEO Tommy Smith does with coach Mike Munchak.
The Titans have had a technical sellout of every game they’ve every played at LP Field. But plenty of season-ticket holders have stopped going to games.
If a fan makes the jump from not going to not buying, that will get the team’s attention in a while new way.
Here’s the rub.
Those season ticket holders invested in a personal seat license (PSL) to have the right to buy the tickets.
If they bought it from the team, season-ticket holders spent $500 to $6,000 for that license. If they want to stop spending on tickets, they swallow that investment. If they keep buying the tickets, even with the team being bad, they are at least in line to have tickets or to sell their PSL if and when the team is good again.
So I am sure some fans will say they’ve had enough and when renewal time rolls around they will cut their losses.
But more will say, “I’ve spent a lot of money on this team, and if I stop now I will have thrown away that initial investment.”
Here's a snapshot of a couple PSL holders I connected with on Twitter Wednesday:
Gray Ramsey, 37, Chattanooga, insurance agency owner
Investment: $750 each on two PSLs by transfer in 2007 in section 339. Season tickets for each seat were $520 this year. He’s bought season tickets in these seats since 2005.
Attendance commitment: “The Cardinals game was the first home regular season or playoff game I have missed since the 2004 season when I was deployed to Iraq (and my mother-in-law recorded all the games on DVD and mailed them to me). It was mainly because I had no faith in the team to win and it sucks driving back to Chattanooga after a late game. Especially a loss. So I bailed. I tried to give my tickets away and couldn't. If the Texan game stays an early kickoff I will be there."
Feel handcuffed by PSL? “Yes and no. In my situation, between myself, my in-laws and my wife's aunt/uncle/cousins, we own 13 seats all together in our section. So for us it's a huge handcuff knowing it would be nearly impossible to get all together if we had to repurchase after letting our tickets go.
If it were just me with three or four seats, I would happily let them go next year ...especially if coach Munchak is back. I'm just not happy with the on-field product. It's not fun driving/tailgating/watching losses after a while."
Justin Stokes, 28, Union City, Tenn, works in risk management
Investment: $2,500 per seat for two PSLs in section 116 in 2004. Bought two more next to them for $1,500 each in 2006. Season tickets were $760 a seat this year.
Attendance commitment: “I have attended all seven and both preseason games. Haven't missed any home games since 2004 season, two games that year.”
Feel handcuffed by PSL? “Yes, you feel you have to buy the tickets since you have the initial investment. But I believe you have to look at it as a fixed cost and the more years you renew the lower it becomes per year. It is a handcuff, but I think it does help with sellout and presenting blackouts. I went to Jacksonville a few years ago and some of their fans said they didn't have the PSL program and look at all the issues they have with sell outs, blackouts and constant speculation about the team moving. (Doesn't help the product they put on the field, and I fear we are heading I same direction.)”
Russell Mauldin, 54, Brentwood, Tenn., Composer, record producer and business owner
Investment: $1,500 per PSL for four PSLs. With a parking pass, tickets totaled $5,425 this year.
Attendance commitment: “We've had someone use every ticket all year. My wife has made all the games. I missed two on a trip to Japan. We make sure all four tickets are used each game by family, friends or business clients."
Feel handcuffed by PSL? “The PSL situation is a nightmare! I went to post on Craigslist in the spring and MANY were giving away or charging $1 for the PSLs to dump the season ticket charges. I posted for sale and had NO responses. I've asked everyone seated around us if they're interested in buying our PSLs and tickets for next year. No one is interested and several are also trying to get out. The Titans office refused to help me broker or make a connection to sell the PSLs. We'll give them back to the Titans before buying next year's season tix!”
Richard Boring, 54, Franklin, Tenn., federal bank examiner
Investment: $1,500 each for two at the start, as best he can remember. Season tickets are $650 each.
Attendance commitment: “This year, five of seven regular season games. Total missed: 25?”
Feel handcuffed by the PSL? “The PSL investment was 15 years ago for us and long forgotten. So it is not a factor in our renewal.”
Brent Porter, 25, La Vergne, Tenn., self-employed
Investment: $500 for two upper level PSLs in 2011, $520 for two season tickets. $1,000 for two lower level seats. “I was able to purchase them from a local company owner who no longer wanted them in March of 2013 for only $500 each (listed at $2,000 each if you get them from the Titans).” Those two are $1,520 total for season tickets.
Attendance commitment: “This year I have attended six of seven home games so far and both preseason games -- I missed the Jacksonville game because I was in Orlando with my wife on a graduation trip. I have also traveled to two different away games (St. Louis and Denver) The first two seasons I had my PSL's I attended all 20 games both preseason and regular season but had never visited other stadiums until this year.
Feel handcuffed by the PSL? “Not much, I have been a huge football fan throughout my upbringing and played football in middle school. When the Oilers came to Nashville I was 9-years-old and have been a big fan ever since. I am now a local area youth and middle school football official and love being around the game. My PSLs have not cost me quite as much as some other people I would assume so I don't feel extremely tied up fiscally in the PSLs. I love the game and the NFL so win or lose I will always be there.”