The new Meadowlands Stadium appears likely to land the biggest football game of all before the New York Giants and Jets even officially set foot into the $1.6 billion facility. The two organizations held a press conference this week in which they discussed the joint bid they made to host the 2014 Super Bowl (Super Bowl XLVIII).
The NFL will award the game to either New York, Tampa or South Florida on May 25, and the New York Post reported in its Wednesday, May 12, editions that the Meadowlands is the leading candidate to host the game thanks in large part to an endorsement from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
The short-term news for the Giants and Jets and their new home is not nearly as promising, though. Less than four months before kickoff, both teams are still trying to sell season tickets — a marked change from the old Giants Stadium, where both franchises had a generations-long waiting list for season tickets.
The problem is a three-letter acronym that has turned into a four-letter word for fans and teams alike: PSL, or a personal seat license. A PSL is a one-time purchase that gives the fan a right to buy his season tickets, but the spiraling economy turned the PSL — and, as a result, season tickets — into a luxury many could not afford. Costs of the PSLs for Jets season tickets range from $4,000 to more than $30,000, while Giants PSLs run anywhere from $1,000 to $20,000.
Every Giants season ticket in the 82,500-seat stadium requires the purchase of a personal seat license. Giants president and co-owner John Mara told the New York Times in March 2009 that the team had sold 70,000 season tickets and expected to sell out before the stadium opened. But spokesman Pat Hanlon told the Times this March that the team still has 1,500 seats unsold.
The Jets have sold out the 27,000 seats in the upper deck exempt from PSL purchases. The Jets have cut prices on some of their PSLs and embarked upon a program in which current season ticket holders receive “rewards” — either a football autographed by quarterback Mark Sanchez, free parking for the 2010 season or a $250 credit towards food or merchandise purchased at the stadium — if they refer to the team a fan who ends up buying season tickets.
And if that’s not enough, maybe the Jets — and the Giants — could extend to their fans the offer included in their Super Bowl proposal. As part of the pitch to stage the championship game outdoors in a cold-weather city for the first time ever, the Jets and Giants have promised to give hand and feet-warmers to fans as well as to equip seats with heated cushions. Throw those into the equation and perhaps they’ll have sellouts come September, as well.