Today is one of the most exciting days in New York Football history. I am a lifelong Giants fan. My father had Giants season tickets for years and years, before the new Corporate Stadium was built. When he appraised me that he was getting rid of the tickets, I was stunned.
We had premium seats: Mezzanine. About the 37 yard line, behind the Giants bench. If there was weather, we were covered. Even the wind didn’t seem to fuss too much with that location. It was windy, just about 25 mph less than on the field. I remember going there when the seats were $40.00, maybe $45.00. I remember $55.00. Then I remember it creeping up over the years. I think they were $95.00 just a few years ago. $115.00 just last season.
“You can’t get rid of the tickets, Dad!”
This proclamation peeled no skin off my teeth. It wasn’t my expense. My part was simply to go to the games and enjoy the seats. I did such an amazing job at this – over a tremendously long period of time – I just couldn’t believe my father was firing me. I had the perfect ass for those seats.
“There is a PSL,” my father told me. “What is a PSL?” I asked. “A Personal Seat License.” He said. “They are really building up the value of the PSL.”
We had 4 seats. Years ago, when no one would go to the game, the seats would be empty. In the past few years all that changed, and dad sold the seats. He was only out the cost of the games the family attended. Rising prices had been offset by the ability to sell any unused tickets. The PSL was a real slap in the face for Jet and Giant ticket holders. This wake up call was comparable to being dropped into an ice fishing hole from REM sleep.
“How much is the PSL?” I asked. I had to know what we were talking about. I was determined to find a way to keep those tickets. “$15,000.00 per ticket,” dad said. “whaaaat?” I said, mulling over and grappling with the significance and value of my attendance at these games. “Every season?” I asked, not fully understanding the concept. “No,” he said, “It is a one time fee. You own the right to those seats, and when you buy the tickets, you purchase the right to sell them. If they go up in value, you stand to make a profit. That is how they have hyped this thing, anyway.”
‘Okay, okay.’ I thought. ‘I need to figure this out.’ That is $60,000.00 for our seats. We could turn a profit, but I need to figure out how to hold onto them first, then worry about the rest, later.
“The seats have gone up too.” Dad added. “How much?” I asked, knowing that a 30-50% increase was likely going to come in the package. “$500.00 per seat.”
Suddenly, my brain burst open. This produced an oozing of words into the phone:
“Dad, you can’t sell the seats.” I said.
I knew he heard me the first time. I was hearing him, but had no capacity for comprehension. I would have to sit on this one for a few days in order to secure the tickets, but the future was bleak. This is like being in the Panhandle of Florida, with an enormous hurricane 150 miles out. Dad was doing what any reasonable man would do: He was getting out of there, and finding the shores of safety far, far away. I would arrive at this decision, but not before the winds began howling louder.
“So that is 8 games, every year, plus 60k?” I said, thinking out loud. Thinking Out Loud is an annoying habit I inherited from him. When people visit the Daley household, my father and I can get awfully flustered as the guests simply start conversing with our thoughts. On the one hand this is convenient. Dad answered my thought which, having made it’s way out my throat without thinking, was now airborne and responding to his thoughts: “The problem is, they sell you the 2 preseason games, which nobody wants to go to, and are impossible to sell,” he thought. As Dad’s thoughts reached into my eardrums, I said, “4 tickets at $500.00 per ticket is $2000.00 Per Game. 10 games at this price is $20,000.00 per year.
“That’s FUCKING CRAZY!” I screamed. Or perhaps I just thought it.
The Giants were telling us – season ticket holders for well over a quarter century – that we needed to shell out 60 thousand dollars. This was merely a downpayment. This gives us the privilege of spending 20,000.00 per year, every year. Nothing else comes with it. That is it, down to brass tacks.
Why not just buy available tickets at 10 grand per game, and go twice a year? That saves 60 thousand dollars, and relieves you of the responsibility for losing money every year. I finally knew my quest was over when I came to this realization: If Dad paid the PSL, and said ‘the tickets are yours,’ I would say, “I don’t want them!” Season Tickets – at this price point – hold very little value. They are a liability.
Does the Giant Brass think their ticket holders are desperately trying to find more ways to spend money?
In 1986, Dad got tickets to the Super Bowl in Pasadena. He and my mother sat close to the field. I sat with Jim Windhorst at the back of the stadium, in the corner of the endzone. I stood up the entire game. I was happy when the volume of the crowd corresponded with the blue uniforms congregating in the end zone. Every once in a while I see a play from this game on TV. I used to gloat about being there. Now I just watch, having never seen the plays.
Having season tickets was great. I can say without blinking: It was a very good run.
If the Jets win today, they will be headed to the Super Bowl. The last time that happened, Joe Namath was the quarterback. Many people don’t know who he is, others only know the legend of Joe Willie Namath. The Jets looked really good the last 2 weeks. Mark Sanchez doesn’t have the stats of an elite quarterback, but he makes enough plays at the right time to win games.
Every great quarterback eventually acquires statistical superiority. Along that road, they need only amass victories. Mark Sanchez is a winner, and this Jets team is quite spirited. I am more excited than I would be if the Giants were in it right now. That is because I have had the good fortune of smelling the bouquet, and tasting success. The Jets haven’t been there since the early 70’s. They have worked hard, and they deserve it.