NFL season ticket waiting lists

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The National Football League has enjoyed success in selling out many of their venues from season ticket sales alone. Out of 32 teams in the league, 24 claim to have waiting lists from under 1,000 people to over 150,000. For some fans, this means a wait not just of years, but decades. This is due mostly to the NFL's short window of play; there are only eight regular-season home games, forcing the most devoted fans into a desperate and sometimes costly search for a limited number of events.[1]

Since 1973, the waiting lists have also had the by-product of preventing any home games of certain teams from being blacked out on local television. Home games must be sold out within 72 hours of kickoff before a telecast is allowed, and the longest waiting lists have ensured every home game of the applicable teams being locally televised. Prior to 1973, home games could not be locally televised even if they were sold out. Four teams have had the benefit of not seeing any blackouts at all since 1972.

Personal Seat Licenses (PSLs)[edit]

Personal Seat Licenses (PSLs) is a license which grants the holder the right to buy season tickets for a particular team. PSLs were first used in the NFL by the expansion Carolina Panthers in 1993 to help finance their new stadium. Since that time, several teams have used the mechanism to finance new stadium projects including the Chicago Bears remodel of Soldier Field and more recently the Dallas Cowboys. The New York Jets and the New York Giants used PSL programs to finance the construction of the New Meadowlands Stadium, now MetLife Stadium.[2]

Criticism related to waiting lists[edit]

In 2003, the New York Jets changed their waiting list policy to require a $50 annual maintenance fee to remain on the waiting list. However, due to the long list of names and high renewal rates among existing ticket holders, there was uncertainty about the fees a person may possibly have to pay if they remained on the list for many years. After attention from the media and the New York Attorney General's Office, the Jets agreed to cap the maintenance fees at $500, allow the transfer of the waiting list position if the person moved out of state and provide at least 80% of non-renewed season tickets to waiting list members. In 2008, the Jets sent notices to those on the waiting list that the $50 annual maintenance fee would be waived and any money already accrued would be either refunded or credited toward the purchase of Jets merchandise.

In 2004, the New England Patriots, who have a substantial season ticket waiting list, received media attention for not allowing the son of a deceased season ticket holder to retain his father's season tickets. The following year, the New England Patriots introduced the "Pass It On" transfer program, which allows season ticket holders to transfer season tickets to immediate family members for $2,000 to $5,000 per ticket, depending on the location of the seat.[3]

The NFL requires that season ticket purchasers not only purchase the regular season games, but also typically two preseason games whether they want the exhibition games or not. The legality of requiring the purchase of the preseason games has been challenged all the way to the Supreme Court but it has not resulted in a change of policy for the NFL.[4]

Lengthiest waiting lists[edit]

Annual postcard sent out by the Green Bay Packers organization to those on the waiting list for season tickets

The Green Bay Packers have the most famous waiting list, with more than 105,000 names. This would mean a name placed on the list today would be eligible for season tickets in 955 years.[5] It is a common custom in Green Bay and other Wisconsin cities to put a baby's name on the list as soon as the birth certificate is obtained.[6][7][8] Transfer of standing to surviving relatives is permitted by the Packers.[5] The Packers front office tell fans the wait will be for 30 years.

The Washington Redskins were reported to have the most number of names on their waiting list at over 150,000. However, recent investigations question if a waiting list exists at all,[9] which would seem to contradict the fact that FedExField has demolished 10,000 seats heading into the 2011 season. The New York Giants, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos historically have also maintained long waiting lists for season tickets.[1]

Waiting lists[edit]

Team Year waiting list was started Approx. number of names on waiting list Approx. wait time Personal Seat License
Arizona Cardinals N/A No waiting List N/A No
Atlanta Falcons 2008 60,000[10] Unknown No
Baltimore Ravens Unknown 3,000 1 year Yes
Buffalo Bills N/A No waiting list None No
Carolina Panthers N/A No Waiting List None Yes
Chicago Bears 2005 7,921+ 12 years Yes, PSL purchase optional
Cincinnati Bengals N/A No waiting list None Yes
Cleveland Browns N/A No waiting list None Yes
Dallas Cowboys N/A No waiting list None Yes Cowboys Stadium only
Denver Broncos Unknown 45,000+[11] 10–15 years[11] No
Detroit Lions N/A No waiting list None No
Green Bay Packers 1960 105,000[12] 30 years Yes (one-time, $2,100 per seat—Green Package)
Houston Texans 2002 22,000[13] Unknown Yes
Indianapolis Colts 2013 Unknown[14] Unknown No
Jacksonville Jaguars N/A No waiting list None No
Kansas City Chiefs N/A No waiting list None No
Miami Dolphins N/A No waiting list None No
Minnesota Vikings 2013 unknown 1 year Yes
New England Patriots 1994 60,000[15] None No
New Orleans Saints 2006 70,000[16] Unknown No
New York Giants 1976 135,000 N/A Yes, MetLife Stadium only
New York Jets N/A No waiting list None Yes, upper level has no PSLs MetLife Stadium only
Oakland Raiders N/A No waiting list None No
Philadelphia Eagles 2002 40,000 30 years[17] Yes
Pittsburgh Steelers 1972 88,000 50 years[18] Yes
San Diego Chargers N/A No waiting list None No
San Francisco 49ers N/A No waiting list None Yes, Levi's Stadium only
Seattle Seahawks 2006 12,000+[19] 10 Years Yes, Charter Market Place only
St. Louis Rams N/A No waiting list None Yes
Tampa Bay Buccaneers N/A No waiting list None No
Tennessee Titans Unknown 22,000 20 years Yes
Washington Redskins 1966 8 25 years No

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Sherman, Lauren (2007-09-07). "Toughest NFL Waiting Lists - Forbes.com". Forbes. 
  2. ^ Mascarenhas, Rohan (2010-08-17). "New Meadowlands Stadium opens to Giants, Jets fans in East Rutherford". The Star-Ledger (Newark). Retrieved 2011-08-23. 
  3. ^ Mohl, Bruce (2005-02-25). "Season ticket transfer fees irk fans". The Boston Globe. 
  4. ^ Angelo F. Coniglio v. Highwood Services, Inc., 495 F.2d 1286 (2d Cir. 1974-04-17).
  5. ^ a b Gary D’Amato (19 January 2011). "Packers season tickets worth the wait - 955 years for some on the list". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
  6. ^ Packers.com - Fan Zone - Faq - Tickets
  7. ^ File:Waitlist Postcard.jpg
  8. ^ "SI.com - Be the 74,659th In Line! - Oct 9, 2007". CNN. 2007-10-09. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ http://www.seasonticketwaitinglist.com/2008/01/atlanta-falcons-season-tickets-waiting.html
  11. ^ a b http://www.denverbroncos.com/tickets-and-stadium/season-tickets/waiting-list.html
  12. ^ http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/lambeau-field-waiting-list-shrinks-b9943372z1-213433201.html
  13. ^ http://www.houstontexans.com/news/article-2/Houston-Texans-announce-2014-ticket-prices/75eee730-0b05-4ecb-af6c-b28aeb5996b0
  14. ^ The Wall Street Journal http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303561504577495083707417526.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read |url= missing title (help). 
  15. ^ http://www.seasonticketwaitinglist.com/2010/03/new-england-patriots-season-tickets.html
  16. ^ http://www.foxsportssouthwest.com/story/Saints-Season-Tickets-In-The-Mail?blockID=921687&
  17. ^ http://www.philadelphiaeagles.com/tickets/season-tickets-waiting-list.html
  18. ^ http://www.seasonticketwaitinglist.com/2009/05/pittsburgh-steelers-season-tickets.html
  19. ^ O'Neil, Danny (2010-03-03). "Seahawks raise prices slightly for season-ticket renewals". The Seattle Times. 

13 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/01/AR2009090103984_pf.html www.packers.com