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Thread: The Super Bowl and the possibility of Personal Seat Licenses for the big game

  1. #1

    The Super Bowl and the possibility of Personal Seat Licenses for the big game

    Sam Farmer of the LA Times thinks the league may try to develop an official Super Bowl rotation which may enable the league to sell PSLs for its biggest attraction. Farmer also floats the idea of a league-owned stadium in L.A.

    Wow. PSLs for the Super Bowl?

    Just wow. Talk about straight up greed...

    After 19 years of dead ends, the NFL is taking another run at returning to Los Angeles. Solving that riddle will require some creative thinking and possibly an outside-the-box approach.

    The league is evaluating various sites in the L.A. area and looking into alternative financing models for a stadium, including paying for one itself as opposed to having an individual owner foot the bill.

    "Whatever gets us a team in L.A., that would be awesome," said New England's Robert Kraft, among the league's most influential owners. "That might be the solution. Whatever it takes, I know I'd be willing to support."

    How might the league approach the situation differently? Here are some answers to the primary questions:

    What are the two main financing scenarios?

    In the first, a club has a stadium site and concept in mind, puts together a financing plan and looks to the league for help. The NFL helps pay for the venue but also assesses a hefty relocation fee. The club then has full control of the stadium.

    In the second, the league pays for the stadium, offsetting that $1-billion-plus investment by selling naming rights, personal seat licenses (PSLs) and the like. That becomes the home of one or two teams (perhaps to be named later), who don't have the astronomical cost of a stadium on their books. In theory, the relocation fee would be smaller because the NFL benefits from those sponsorship sales.

    Why would a team want to have a stadium that's owned by the league?

    That's the pivotal question, and there are a lot of owners who wouldn't want Big Brother as a landlord. That said, the NFL could make it more enticing by giving tenants control of key revenue streams such as sales of suites, club and general admission seats, local sponsorship and advertising, parking and the like. The challenge for the league would be making the deal attractive enough.

    What could be different about a league-owned venue?

    If all 32 teams are sharing in the revenue that stadium generates, those teams would probably push to hold major events there. For instance, the NFL has searched for ways to revamp (and pump interest) into the Pro Bowl. What if that annual event were staged at the league's stadium in L.A.? The league is already considering holding the 2015 draft in L.A. What about moving the scouting combine there? A West Coast hub of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, perhaps? And it's not a reach to think the league might want to relocate the NFL Network and NFL.com to an eventual L.A. stadium, if one ever happens.

    Who would play there?

    As soon as a team tips its hand that it's leaving, it's dead in its current market. In theory, the NFL could build a stadium without naming the teams that might play there until the last minute, thereby avoiding a lame-duck season. As it is, there's a very tight window for a team to announce it's relocating — from mid-January through February — precisely because the team would need time to sell season tickets in its new market. But were it a league-owned stadium, the NFL could start moving dirt at any time and simply say, "Stay tuned."

    Is there another potential revenue stream out there, one the league might harness to finance a stadium?

    Yes, Super Bowl PSLs. This idea has been floating around for years, and it's only a matter of time before it happens. If and when the league establishes a regular rotation of Super Bowl sites — and it's reexamining how it currently awards cities the marquee game — it can start selling seats years in advance. Well, the rights to seats, anyway. For instance, if L.A. were promised four Super Bowls in 20 years, the league could tell fans, "Pay X-thousand dollars now, and you will have the right to buy a face-value ticket for this seat for all four of those Super Bowls." You may not like it, and it's going to be pricey, but there's a good chance that's eventually going to happen.

    Why would the league want to be back in L.A., anyway?

    This market has already lost two teams, and three if you count the short-lived L.A. Chargers. In that sense, it's about as rock-solid reliable as a Hollywood marriage.

    Then again, how well managed were the L.A. Raiders and Rams? At the same time those teams were struggling in Southern California, the New England Patriots were failing in Massachusetts. The Saints were always a mess in New Orleans, and they became hugely profitable with the same owner at the helm. The Seahawks were gasping for air in Seattle — and even briefly moved to Anaheim — before Paul Allen rebranded them.

    The NFL says it wants to be back in L.A. The real question is, how much?

    Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
    Screw you guys, I'm going home.

  2. #2
    Heard this on the radio today. It is a brilliant business move akin to all the rest of the recent ones. What I mean is that the league is aware of certain things that could be harmful to the game. Some of those things have brought to question the long-term viability of being the #1 sport in the land. Simply, the plan now is to market everything perfectly (which they do) and also make as much money as possible.

    Still, this move is brilliant in a way that it could garner a ton of public support since communities are getting more and more reluctant to pay for new stadiums. Unfortunately, greedy officials of the communities in question have helped suck community coffers dry due to inflated retirement numbers, phony jobs, population shifts, etc. Also, citizens have started to pay attention to all the reports about how sports stadiums are not a good investment for them. After all, since the government in their community failed to plan correctly for retirements, how could they be trusted with the loans involved with a million metric tons of concrete?

    Anyhow, the fans will buy into these ideas because they will be told how no greedy owner will take advantage of them. Then, of course, the league will step in and make all the money. As I get older, it is harder for me to be impressed by anything. This plan; however, is truly great.

    Finally, bringing up another topic--- The day the NFL starts to decline at all, in my opinion, is when they try to put a team in London.
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  3. Quote Originally Posted by Rich Gapinski View Post
    Finally, bringing up another topic--- The day the NFL starts to decline at all, in my opinion, is when they try to put a team in London.
    Threadjacker.

    I think the NFL is closer than that to a decline. I see TNF on free TV as a potential tipping point in the oversaturation of the football market. This is especially true for people who love both college and pro ball. I even hit a little football fatigue last season. TNF games were more of a chore than a joy.
    Workin' on mysteries without any clues

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Sullivan View Post
    Threadjacker.


    I know that icon "says" "woot," but I assure you that it is an evil woot. A very evil one.
    As a writer, I'm like the last girl at the bar. In the morning, you may regret asking for my services, but I'll get the job done. As long as I don't puke on your floor.

    Twitter: @PolishedSports

  5. My initial reaction to this story was typical. I pulled the greed card. With a little time to think this through, I believe a league-owned (and more importantly, league-financed) stadium in Los Angeles would be a brilliant move. As for PSLs, people already pay through the nose for Super Bowl Tickets. Why not capitalize on that? The big game is so far out of the reach of most normal fans already. If the wealthy folks who actually attend the Super Bowl will drop an additional $20,000 for the up front privilege to attend future games at one given venue, why not take their foolishly spent money?
    Workin' on mysteries without any clues

  6. #6
       
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    A lot of the major problems with the downtown location go away if it's only used for the Super Bowl (apparently you can do that kind of game without allowing anyone to park there) but we'll have to see what shakes out with the Forum area.

    The only negative I've seen thus far from the Stan Kroenke stealth move into the west side is the recently completed transformation of the Forum into a musical events destination. There is a lot of acreage there to build a stadium and still have somewhere for 30,000 cars to park. Heck, before Al Davis went chasing after Irwindale (now famous for Sriracha maufacturing), there were talks about building a new stadium by the track. Now that the racetrack has shut down, the city of Inglewood is likely desperate for someone to do something with the property.

  7. #7
       
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    The league is pricing the average John and Jane Doe's out of the market. The SB's have been out of the average fans price range for a long time now, and I never see that changing. Tickets are now a corporate thing for stuffed idiots in suits. I pay 2k a year for my wife and I to see 8 Chief games and I'm good with that. But I won't buy a PSL if they ever implement them. I can easily watch from my house and save the 10 minute drive. The average fan is only going to tolerate so much before they tune out altogether.
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  8. #8
       
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    I think this may be the only way the NFL gets its dream of putting yet another team in L.A. Too many people (voters) are sick to death of footing the bill to build and/or renovate stadiums for wealthy owners in a wealthy league. And Curtis is right, the Superbowl has been the sole province of the wealthy and the corporate for years now--that's not likely to change. But I don't know that league ownership of a stadium will cure the problems that have plagued L.A. football teams: no one has ever stayed long enough to develop a loyal fan base and California already has 3 teams. That's a lot of teams for a state where people have a so many other recreational options year-round.

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