After the events of today, the Jets have ended their season in glorious fashion. Jon Gruden said it best on the Jets final play against the Titans. It was just ugly. Their season was ugly and how fitting that their season should end on a fumble by Mark Sanchez. The Jets have 50 turnovers over the past two seasons, the most of any NFL team.
2012 has truly not been a banner year for the Jets organization. For the fans, it has been even worse. Year after year of promises, free agent signings, and supposed surprises, the fans have really had enough. The Gang Green Piper needs to change his tune in order to get the fans back on board. At a point fans were energized about the team’s future, investing in PSL‘s. After this season, many are looking for a loophole to get out of their commitments or sell them outright.
This is not every fan. Many dedicated Jets faithful will be back for another season next year. Sending out their payments in mid 2013 to make sure they are in attendance for the start of another roller coaster ride. Others I talk to have had enough and want off. They have had enough of the ups and downs and just want to be a casual observer from their couch.
I know you may be shaking your head in regards to a fiscal year when it comes to the New York Jets. They are not a public company. No records to show on sales or growth. Not even on which Jets season ticket holders have been with them for years and which ones are first time PSL holders. There is little to no information on what true numbers the Jets organization has on their books by the end of the 2012 fiscal year.
You need to view this from a different perspective. From the outlook of the fan investor. The one who takes his hard earned money and decides each year that this recreational activity is worth the time and the investment. Was the money laid out received back in a way that could rival a stock split or dividend. Did you get full entertainment value for that dollar?
In essence, the Jets fans fiscal year begins and ends with the NFL season. Sixteen weeks, four months, four quarters to analyze the product and its value by the fans. Their investment into a franchise that needs ticket income in order to survive. Just ask the Jacksonville Jaguars how important ticket sales are.
Every investor varies. There are those with enough disposable income where this can be afforded as a luxury and necessity. The choice to indulge in one’s favorite pastime as football is a life source of socializing and networking for a certain ticket holding investor.
Then you have those who have to save for a bit to enjoy days tailgating and getting frenzied up hard-nosed action. The investor who puts years in and sees no ROI. Each time seeing their hard-earned money, being invested in a product that raises expectations and then lowers their future outlook. Somehow, to a few of these fans held over from Shea Stadium, “New and Improved” always feels like “Old and Inferior”.
Before the season even started, the Jets made their presence known with the signing of Tim Tebow. We do not gave to go into a back story on his signing, activity, and his on field play. It has been well documented by the media since the start of the season. Expectations were high on Tim Tebow. The Wildcat talk and much else kept his stock and overall use high.
But as we all know, his on field play and use angered many and overall value made fans sigh with disappointment. Weather his acquisition was because of Woody Johnson wanting to sell tickets or because Tony Sporano wanted him to help the Wildcat, it did not sell tickets. But it did sell quite a bit of Jets merchandise & focus quite a bit of cameras on Gang Green. In a way, Woody got a little of what he wanted.
Bottom line, the investment in Tebow did not equal the output expected by the team and the fans. This added to Jets fans having a bad fiscal year.
It seemed the Jets suffered more injuries than Evel Knievel. Sorry Travis Pastrana fans, he still has a way to go to catch Evel! But from the start of the season when Darelle Revis went down then Santonio Homes, it seemed more and more kept piling up on the IR or PUP lists. The revolving doors affected the Jets all season. Dustin Keller could not find his groove with Mark Sanchez as in seasons passed to put points on the board.
Jets performance in the first and second quarter were volatile. There was no indication of a strong rebound to bring certain investors back to MetLife Stadium. Projections for the second half remained optimistic, but with a team built more like a fantasy team than a NFL franchise with depth, many annalists were projecting a Wild Card at best.
Once the second half of the Jets fans fiscal year came about there was a slight climb in their value. Once Thanksgiving showed its head, the team fell back into a slide. Mark Sanchez and his play made that stock almost seem worthless. His removal felt like a company taking out its CEO and getting someone in their fast to turn the ship around. Greg McElroy stepped up in a loss to only receive a concussion which brings Sanchez back to a chorus of boos. S
Stub Hub, the NFL Ticket Exchange, and other third-party ticket websites offer a certain market for season ticket holders. A “stock exchange” of sorts where fans will sell their tickets for a certain value. During the month of December, Jets tickets were being sold for less than $10. The Jets received face value for those tickets. The Jets season ticket holder would be considered lucky to even get 25% of face value in the month of December. A month where fans might hope to make a profit on their tickets, can not.
What Woody Johnson has done to the season ticket holders is beyond reproach.. The Jets have the highest average, non-premium ticket price in the league at $117.94, according to Team Marketing Report’s Fan Cost Index. That is on top of personal seat licenses for all of those except the upper deck.
If you look at the individual average per PSL holder assuming a minimum of two seats and a parking pass, the average season ticket holder is laying out an average of 275 per game, based on the above numbers, before they even get to the stadium. Lump in their PSL payment for the year and APR if they decided not to pay for their PSL in full.
The Jets are handling the financing of their PSL’s. So that 6.5% or 8% that you pay to finance your PSL’s, goes right to the Jets as well. Getting their little extra.
What exactly have Jets fans received back as ROI for that?
A preseason with no touchdowns. Regular-season losses by 34, 30 and 21 points. Parking aggravation. Cursing in the stands being seen on YouTube. And the biggest distraction in the league at backup quarterback. None of this did anything to raise the value of on field play for fans to get behind the performance.
Not to mention Johnson begging the NFL to give the Jets a home game on Thanksgiving, ruining the holiday for his fans. It is no wonder the Jets have been pushing advertising and commercials all over every piece of media they could to sell tickets. Radio, television, websites, and more try to get fans interested in being a season ticket holder investor.
To the long time season ticket holder who gave their seats up to be armchair quarterbacks, the lure of penny stock seats in the 300 section was not enough to make them venture out and be a part of what they once loved to do in the blazing heat and freezing cold. To them, the tide changed, it is not the same. It will never be the same and they did not want to move ahead with the change. Instead opting to watch from a distance and spend their hard money elsewhere.
The Jets were 3-5 at home. 37.5% of their games were won at home. Not a far return given the product on the field and the layout fans make each year in the country’s top market. This with the highest ticket rates per average does not add up to a worthwhile venture.
To the grizzled, tough skinned, dedicated fan, it still is though. Still going so they can say they were there in the bad and the good. The ones willing to pay any price to support their team in the flesh. Patiently standing on the sidelines, in the hopes this turnaround happens in their lifetime.
It will, just a matter of when. Do not make us wait longer than Rangers fans.
In today’s final game of the season, Mark Sanchez looked like a man with no confidence. How could one make the best decisions in clutch situations in that frame of mind?
Is that the kind of individual one would want leading a public company while the company’s stock is plummeting? Someone not up to the task to the best of the ability needed to hold such a position?
I think not.
Then the fans who have invested time and hard-earned money year after year should not put up with it. At least stockholders have a voice in who should be leading that company. It is time Woody Johnson had an open forum to listen to his stockholders.
The Jets have a large mountain to climb to turn this franchise around for the better. It will not happen overnight, but more correct decisions sooner rather than later. For the sake of your fan investor and the ones who hold off investing, do what is right for them. Maybe then, that on field product might be enough to attract those fans rather than the blast style marketing.
Jets fans were good this year. They deserve a great gift to be proud of. One that they will remember receiving the rest of their life. Not a big shiny, well decorated, ornamental, box that it all comes in.