Giants, Jets fans rally against personal seat licenses at game
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Dozens of New York Jets and Giants fans rallied Saturday to protest the personal seat licenses they will be required to buy for the new $1.6 billion stadium that the NFL teams plan to open in 2010.
The Giants announced last month that their PSLs will range in price from $1,000 to $20,000 with about 80 percent of their fan base paying between $1,000 and $7,500 for their seat licenses.
The Jets have not announced a PSL policy, but organizer Steve Kern of Boonton Township expects one to be unveiled within two weeks. He estimated that about 75 people attended the rally, held shortly before the teams met in their annual preseason game.
"We would like the teams to listen to the ideas that we have come up with and revise the policy," Kern said. "The hope is they take a step back, listen to their most loyal fans and revise the policy."
Kern said the cost of the stadium has almost doubled since the teams decided about two years ago to share the cost of building the facility in the Meadowlands sports complex. The new stadium is next to Giants Stadium, the state owner facility where the teams currently play.
"If you ask construction workers did their salary double in two years, [they'll say] No!" Kern said. "Did steel double? No! Something happened. The teams are faced with a dilemma. The budget is blown by $800 million and they have a shortfall, so what are they doing? A light bulb goes off, and what a shocker, they are raising $740 million for that $800 million shortfall."
Kern said the PSLs are not needed because the teams will raise about $240 million annually with the sale of naming rights, club seats and luxury boxes.
Kern, 44, has been a lifelong Jets' fan and a season ticket holder for 15 seasons. He has two tickets and said his PSLs would cost $5,000 apiece if the Jets' anticipated PSL policy is the same as the Giants.
Kern does not see the PSLs as an investment, noting that fans probably would will their seats to someone in their family.
"A PSL is a one-time payment to remain a season ticket holder," Kern said. "It's money I'll never recoup."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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