Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sports And The Recession

The Wall Street Journal has a piece on the horrific timing for the Yankees, Mets and Cowboys to open new stadiums. With combined construction costs well over $3 billion, the teams have had difficulty selling out luxury suites and personal seat licenses. Companies are hard pressed to justify spending taxpayer money on $250K boxes and multimillion dollar naming rights deals. And forcing fans to shell tens of thousands of dollars for the right to purchase season tickets is putting the strength of the ticket market to the test.

"Season tickets along the sidelines at Texas Stadium used to cost $129 a game, compared with $340 a game for similar seats in the new stadium. To earn the right to buy season tickets, fans must buy "personal seat licenses" -- a one-time, up-front fee that can run as high as $150,000 a seat.

Dallas-area real estate agent Linda Taylor says she was shocked to learn that the $130-a-game Cowboys seats she'd had for years at the old Texas Stadium would jump to $340 in the new building -- and require a $35,000 seat license.

"It just seemed crazy, especially for true fans. It's different if we were a corporation," she says. Ms. Taylor and her family ended up paying license fees of $16,000 per seat for seats that aren't as good as their old ones."

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