Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Jets partner with StubHub to auction PSLs
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Excited by a jaw-dropping touchdown run by your favorite New York Jets player? You'll be close enough to tell him all about it.
Think New York's coaching staff blew it with a bad call? Your voice will be heard, too -- literally.
The Jets announced a partnership Wednesday with online ticketing Web site StubHub to auction off 2,000 seat licenses that will put big-spending fans 5 yards behind the team's bench in the new Meadowlands stadium, scheduled to open in 2010.
"It's really about getting their feet on the field," said Thad Sheely, the Jets' executive vice president of stadium development and finance. "To be on the field, it's the kind of access only coaches and players get."
The fans who win the bidding, conducted on StubHub's Web site from Oct. 19-27, will have the choice of watching from a railed-off section of the field called the Coaches Club -- complete with its own security personnel -- or from a bar and lounge area directly behind them.
"They better be on their best behavior," Matt Higgins, the Jets' executive vice president of business operations said with a big laugh.
In addition to complimentary food and beverages, Coaches Club members will receive free VIP parking next to the stadium and can buy tickets to other events. Fans will also be able to stand in the tunnel before games and listen in to the coach's postgame press conference from a few feet away.
"We want to create a really unique experience," Sheely said. "You're on the inside."
This is the first time a U.S. sports team has auctioned off personal seat licenses. Last month, the Jets announced their PSL plan, which will cost some season-ticket holders between $4,000 and $25,000, but spares 27,000 upper-level seats from the new fee.
"I think it's an attempt to strike a balance," Higgins said. "We really feel it's important to give our longtime season ticket-holders options. Those fans that don't have the means or desire to pay for PSLs will have another option with 27,000 seats that won't have them."
Bids on StubHub, an eBay company, will open at a minimum of $5,000 per seat license to prequalify fans for the seats in the Coaches Club, located near the 50-yard line. Bidding on a number of seat locations will be staggered throughout the auction.
"Rather than set a price, we'll let the marketplace decide," Higgins said. "There is simply no better seat in sports, and no better gameday experience in the NFL."
Winning bidders will also have the right to pay $700 for each Jets game ticket.
"Facilitating this first-of-its kind auction once again supports StubHub's commitment to innovate in the ticket industry," said Chris Tsakalakis, president of StubHub. "The Jets' unique approach will break new ground in the primary ticketing market when the buyer decides what the seat is worth."
The Jets will share the new 82,500-seat stadium with the Giants, whose PSL plan differed greatly by imposing a $1,000 fee for upper-level seats that are spared in the Jets' plan.
Jets fans with seats in the lower bowl and mezzanine end zones will have to pay PSLs ranging from $4,000 to $20,000. Licenses for other lower-level club seating will go for as much as $25,000 per seat.
This will be the first time in sports that the market will set the price for the best seats in the house. We selected StubHub as our partner for this innovative approach because they essentially created the online ticket marketplace.
-- Thad Sheely, Jets executive