September 15, 2010

Giants Lose 60-Year Season Ticket Holders: Last Sunday's game was the first time in 60 years that the family of James Sayles did not attend a New York Giants game. Sayles' daughter said that six season tickets at the 50-yard line had been occupied by four generations of her family since 1950. Her father attended his first Giants game in 1930 at the Polo Grounds. The new stadium's charge of $20,000 for permanent seat licenses and an offer of lousy seats in the upper deck drove them off. "All those years, all that loyalty, and what they were telling me was, 'You don't matter,'" she said. "We are no longer Giants fans." Other fans have been a hard sell: The Giants 36-year streak of sellouts -- excluding the strike year -- ended with the game.

posted by rcade to football at 10:14 AM - 19 comments

I love how the ad for this page in spo-fi is "The Best Seats...How close do you want to sit?"

posted by bdaddy at 11:07 AM on September 15, 2010

Anything resembling a revolt against the vulgar excesses of US major league pro sports, I'm all for it.

I purposely haven't attended a major league sporting event in the US since 1987, and the only thing that would get me back in a seat at this point is a significant reduction in the dollar levels of the current economic structure of the major pro sports leagues. The salaries, the stadium deals, the ticket, food and merch prices, broadcast contracts, all of it.

Might as well throw in the compensation packages of many Div. 1 college coaches too.

Not looking for austerity, just a semblance of sanity.

posted by beaverboard at 11:16 AM on September 15, 2010

My desire to attend NFL games lessens each and every year. The prices charged, and the attitudes towards actual "fans" of teams by organizations, is disgusting.

posted by dyams at 11:22 AM on September 15, 2010

I think the linked article is a column and not a 'news article' but I'm still surprised. I read all the way to the end but never saw any comment from the team, even a no comment.

Very strange that the teams can get these huge PSL fees plus $500 or $700 per ticket per game! Forget about the PSL or season tickets, I literally could never go to a game at those prices. How are kids supposed to get a taste and become part of the fan family? I went to a few Jets and Giant games as a teen, even just with other kids (and not taken by a parent), but at these prices that would never happen now.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:05 PM on September 15, 2010

I think the team's attitude towards fans depends on the market. In Jacksonville, they're falling over backwards to be friendly. In New York, the Yankees and now the Giants both got new stadiums and developed more of an FU attitude.

My mom dropped her Cowboys season tickets when prices got ridiculous for the new stadium. I think they also tried to pull some of that PSL crap.

posted by rcade at 12:16 PM on September 15, 2010

I don't even understand the PSL thing. What is the justification for it?

posted by bperk at 01:06 PM on September 15, 2010

My best friend's insurance agent I'll call Fred played for the Bears in the 60's. George Halas was noted for being a cheap guy. Mike Ditka once said he throws around quarters like manhole covers. As part of his contract, Fred was guaranteed 8 season tickets for the rest of his life. My buddy and I reaped a couple of tickets out of this deal for years. When the new 'Soldier Field' was built, the Bears told Fred he had to cough up 4 grand PSL per ticket to keep them and he was now in the upper deck. Fred flipped out by this breach of contract and marched into Mike McCaskey's office to complain. MM told him it was out of his hands, because the state of Illinois was a big contributor of building funds and they demanded it as a way to be repaid their investment. Fred threw the tickets in MM's face and I haven't been to a Bears game since. Damn PSL's.

posted by Shotput at 01:15 PM on September 15, 2010

I don't even understand the PSL thing. What is the justification for it?

Sheer bilking, to some degree. In Europe, "debentures" are structured as a loan from the payee to the stadium, and actually return the principal and pay interest, but it remains is a nice way to offset construction costs on the accounts.

When it's an actual fee to the team, I presume that corporate hospitaliteers can write off the cost as a business expense, or use PSLs as investments, so it's no skin off their nose. But if you just want to show up and watch the game instead of propping up the corporate balance sheet, you're frankly of more value to the team if you stay at home, buy the merchandise and keep the TV ratings high.

posted by etagloh at 02:14 PM on September 15, 2010

Here's a little more information on the history. It looks like the guy who came up with the idea meant well, but you know how that goes.

posted by wfrazerjr at 04:11 PM on September 15, 2010

Yeah, right. Just like the guy who invented the neutral zone trap as a way of increasing offense. He meant well too. Thanks for the unforeseen consequences, fellas.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 04:57 PM on September 15, 2010

It seems as if the PSL was supposed to replace publicly funded stadiums. That seems like a good idea. Of course, now both are happening, so that's bad. Apparently, the prices aren't too high or else people would stop going to games.

posted by bperk at 08:01 AM on September 16, 2010

People have stopped going to the games. I think that was the point of the FPP link. The past week's openers were the first time over 30 years either team did not sell out the stadium.

posted by billsaysthis at 02:20 PM on September 16, 2010

When enough people stop going to the games that profits are affected, then we'll see changes.

posted by bperk at 04:24 PM on September 16, 2010

That's actually how market driven economies are supposed to work.

posted by Joey Michaels at 08:43 PM on September 16, 2010

If only the NFL operated in a market economy where teams competed economically as well as on the field, with no government subsidies.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:00 AM on September 17, 2010

"[G]overnment subsidies"? You mean help paying for stadiums? How does that affect their ability to compete in the marketplace? It's a closed system. I'm no fan of local governments paying for stadia, but that's a red herring.

posted by yerfatma at 08:13 AM on September 17, 2010

You don't think the NFL's antitrust exemption is a government subsidy? You are the economics genius, so I will bow to your wisdom. It just seems like a massive government subsidy to me.

posted by bperk at 11:04 AM on September 17, 2010

If the teams had to pay for their own facilities and not collude with each other compete economically against other teams then professional sports would be very different. Of course you might get a situation like Spain where Barca and Real Madrid get 50%+ of aggregate revenue too.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:14 PM on September 17, 2010

You don't think the NFL's antitrust exemption

I have to admit, I might bemoan that more if the product wasn't so damn good.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:54 PM on September 18, 2010

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