Give the Giants credit — they know when the time is right to shake down their fans. This afternoon, the team became the first in the area to announce a plan to require personal seat licenses for season-ticket holders, beginning when the team moves into its new stadium in 2010. Essentially, they’ll be charging a one-time fee of between $1,000 (for most upper-level seats) to $20,000 (for some of the lower-level ones) for the right to buy season tickets every year. In a letter posted on the team’s Website, owners John Mara and Steve Tisch team tried to put a positive spin on this — explaining how it guarantees you the seat for as long as the team plays at the stadium — but ticket holders basically have that right anyway (unless they do something stupid, like, say, throw snowballs at the opposing team’s equipment manager). But as best we can tell, the only difference now is they’ll be able to pass (read: sell) the tickets to third parties and not just family members, which really only benefits wannabe scalpers.
We’re sure the Giants won’t be the last local team to require PSLs. The Yankees and Mets have said they won’t require them in their new parks, but with the Nets eyeing Brooklyn and the Rangers and Knicks planning renovations to the Garden, the PSLs could be used to partially fund those projects. (The Times says the Jets, who will share the new Meadowlands stadium with the Giants, are expected to announce a PSL plan themselves.) The Giants are just the only franchise with enough goodwill right now to announce such a plan. (The Mets explicitly said they feared fan backlash if they tried to.) After all, consider the first line of the Giants’ letter:
“As the Giants prepare to defend the Super Bowl championship, and with construction of a new state-of-the-art stadium and team practice facility well underway at the Meadowlands, these are exciting times for Giants fans.”
Aw, you want to pay a little extra because you're so excited. We’ve gotta admit, it’s got a better ring to it than “Good afternoon, Giants fan! You owe us twenty grand!” —Joe DeLessio