PSL shouldn’t charge fans at new Bills stadium

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ORCHARD PARK, NY (WKBW) — Any new NFL stadium comes with a hefty price tag for the team, taxpayers and those looking to take advantage of its state-of-the-art amenities.

The Buffalo Bills are expected to add PSLs to every season ticket holder’s seat in its new 60,000-seat outdoor stadium in Orchard Park.

On Monday, the Bills, Erie County and the state announced a new deal for a $1.4 billion stadium, owned by New York State.

What is a PSL?

PSL stands for Personal Seat License. By definition, it’s a high price you pay to take advantage of this facility, its amenities, secure your seat, and get the first dibs in that seat for whatever events the stadium will be hosting. It’s a one-time fee.
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“When I first heard about them, I thought it was the biggest scam,” said Nellie Drew, a sports law professor at the University at Buffalo. “But it’s like anything, if there’s a market for it, there’s a market for it. PSL is a way to ensure that some of the funding for the facility comes from the people who actually use it.”

How much do they cost?

Around the league, PSLs can range from $500 per seat to over $100,000 in some larger stadiums like Dallas, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

We called the New York Jets, another New York team that plays in New Jersey to see what their PSLs are.

A ticketing representative said his cheapest lower-end area PSL was $4,000 per seat and his most expensive was $30,000 per seat. The Jets also say they’re rolling out a 10-game ticket pack for the 2023 season that wouldn’t include PSLs to buy, but 10 games isn’t a full season.

“Price sensitivity varies from market to market,” Drew said. “It’s not Los Angeles where they can charge exorbitant amounts.”

In a Q&A on the team’s website, PSE Director Ron Raccuia said of PSL:

“We are always very aware of the limitations of the market and do not overvalue our fans, especially when moving into a new stadium. PSLs are an integral part of every new stadium construction project. They will also be part of our project, but we will never get to the point of depriving our fans of attending our matches. As I said earlier, the most important thing for us is to create the best possible advantage on the pitch.”

What’s the benefit?

According to a 2020 article by Pro Football Talk, the Raiders sold PSL for 85% of its seats when the team opened Allegiant Stadium in 2020, earning $549 million from PSL.

According to Drew, PSLs are a way for teams to fund construction.

“It’s a fundraising vehicle to ensure that the people who benefit from the facility pay their fair share.”

For more on the recently announced Bills Stadium deal, click here.

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