I had some harsh comments for Woody Johnson when I received my season ticket invoice the other day. After thinking about it some more, I felt my initial reaction was accurate. There is no reason that ticket prices should have gone up as much as they have these past few years. I understand that this is a league-wide trend. In the past few years, the average ticket price in the NFL rose just over five percent annually. Should I direct my rage at the entire NFL? No, because my check goes to Woody Johnson.
You want to screw me over? Win the Super Bowl and I will open my checkbook to you. I would pay any price to see the Jets win it all. The problem is they haven’t won it all in my lifetime. I do think this organization is headed in the right direction. I really feel confident about Eric Mangini’s chances. But let’s be real here:
1. This franchise is not “there yet”
2. The only reason that Eric Mangini is calling the shots here is because Herman Edwards wanted to leave
Anyhow back on topic, these $10 increases every year are a real slap in the face to the true fans.Â Since Woody bought the team, the Jets record is 49-47. We are, and have been, paying a premium escalation for two games above textbook mediocrity to watch our beloved Jets in a stadium that still dons another team’s name. Do they hurt corporations? No. Does it mean the Jets won’t sell out the stadium? No. And that is exactly why they keep pushing the envelope. Kudos to your market research people, Woody: find the point at which people will revolt, and set the bar just beneath it.
Woody is a good businessman, as was Leon Hess. Leon was at least self-made and fair to his ticket holders though. Neither owner has (or had) proven that he can get it done in the NFL. Now if the Jets win a Super Bowl while Woody owns the team, all will be forgiven. But if the Jets fall short under Woody’s supreme guidance, his legacy will be one of pure, unadulterated greed. The Jets failed when it came to landing a new West Side Stadium. Yet the value of the Jets franchise took the biggest leap in the NFL in 2006. So the season ticket holders have been rewarded with increase after increase despite a booming bottom line.
It should be really interesting to see what happens when it comes to Personal Seat License (PSL) fees for the new “shared” stadium. In 2005, the Jets and the Giants ranked # 3 and # 4 respectively when it came to average ticket prices. The Patriots have the highest average in the NFL. Yet they don’t charge their fans a PSL. Can you imagine what we would be charged if the Jets had won the three Super Bowls in recent memory?
When team marketing.com does its fan cost index surveys, the Jets are always above-average across the board. Translation: it isn’t exactly cheap to go to these games even after the ticket is paid for. Are they thinking of ways to limit tailgating in the new stadium? Certainly those party zone tents would bring the Jets more money. Why let people cook for themselves, when we can charge them for their food? I do hope it never gets that bad.
Woody’s tenure as owner of the Jets has been about the bottom line. He removed the fan links from the official Jets website. It is replaced with Miller Lite Brew and View, showing what bars people can go to if they wish to drink Miller Lite and watch the game. The Jets can make money off Miller Lite. The Jets have no financial interest in Jets fans looking for non-profit fan sites on the internet; with Woody, the bottom line is all that matters.
At some point the fans will reach their breaking point. The new stadium will be filled with luxury boxes and corporate seats. In a good year, there won’t be much difference. Concession sales will still be there. People will still come to watch the NY Jets. The stadium won’t be as loud because the diehards were left behind, but there is no financial impact associated with noise. Except in a bad season, you know, like they had in 2005. If the Jets go 4 and 12, the corporate crowd will find other things to do with their time.
What will the bottom line look like then Woody?