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Club Seats Proving Tough Sell At New Meadowlands Stadium
Published September 15, 2010
The appearance of empty seats during the Giants' and Jets' regular-season home openers at New Meadowlands Stadium "echoed what occurred in 2009, when steep prices were imposed for the best box seats at the new Yankee Stadium, a strategy that did not work in the midst of a deep recession," according to Richard Sandomir of the N.Y. TIMES. The "high prices of the top tickets at Yankee Stadium and the introduction of personal seat licenses at New Meadowlands have raised the possibility that sellouts will not be that easy to achieve in either place." At New Meadowlands Stadium, the club seats "have proved to be the hardest to sell, with Jets fans required to pay $5,000 to $30,000 in licenses for those seats and Giants fans $7,500 to $20,000." Added to that are "per-game ticket charges that cost hundreds of dollars." Giants President & CEO John Mara said that the team's 1,200 unsold club seats "were a consequence of the economy, and that he was not worried that they would eventually sell." Mara: "Some people are trying to paint this as a negative, and we're not used to seeing pockets of empty seats. But we had over 77,000 people on a rainy day. The best way to get people into the building is to play games. We've only played one." Sandomir notes the Giants in January said that they "had 1,500 club seats available, which means they have sold only 300 since then," and the Jets "still have 1,500 club seats to sell." Mara: "You have to look at the time we're living in. No question, price is a big factor" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/15).
TELEVISION KILLED THE STADIUM STAR? CNBC's Darren Rovell noted part of the reason neither the Giants nor the Jets have sold out their stadium this year is “basically the television product.” Rovell: “We've seen record television ratings for games that frankly haven't been that good to open the season. … This is really the big problem that the NFL and some other sports are dealing with -- that the warm couch and the cold beer and the car in the garage is pretty good right now and you're comparing it against, not only a ticket price, but that personal seat license which could go up to $25,000 to buy" (“ESPN First Take,” ESPN2, 9/15).