Chiappone sponsoring legislation to ban sale of seat licenses in New Jersey

A New Jersey lawmaker is urging the New York Giants to rethink their plan to sell personal seat licenses for every seat in the new football stadium at the Meadowlands.

Assemblyman Anthony Chiappone on Wednesday applauded the New York Jets for allowing 27,000 upper-deck fans to buy season tickets without also shelling out a one-time personal seat license fee and encouraged the Giants to do the same.

Chiappone is sponsoring legislation that would ban the sale of seat licenses at all sports facilities in the state.

The Hudson County Democrat said he considers personal seat licenses "an unfair gouging of fans," but he said the Jets' plan, announced Tuesday, to charge only premium season ticket holders is fairer than charging everyone.

"What the Jets are doing is different than the Giants," he said. "They are leaving 27,000 seats PSL-free. A large portion of the stadium fan base will be able to buy seats without having to purchase a PSL."

Giants spokesman Pat Hanlon said the team had no comment.

The Giants plan to sell seat licenses for $1,000 to those in the upper deck and as much as $20,000 for those with field-level seats. The Jets are selling PSLs for between $4,000 and $25,000 for lower level seats at the stadium the Jets and Giants will share. It is scheduled to open in 2010.

The money will help pay for the $1.6 billion stadium, which the Giants and Jets are paying for. Each team expects to receive about $170 million from the sale of seat licenses.

The fees come on top of regular season ticket prices. Anyone who does not pay forfeits the right to buy season tickets.

Chiappone said he hopes his proposal will be debated in the Legislature this fall, noting that his concern extends beyond the situation at the new stadium.

Stadium owners could charge for seat licenses "even if they choose to rehab a stadium, on top of escalated seat prices," he said.

Chiappone, who is a Giants fan but does not hold season tickets, said he will participate in a demonstration organized by fans before the Giants home opener against the Redskins on Sept. 4.