Jets Decisions Affect Fans And Employees

Over the past week, the Jets have made the news for various items.  I have already talked about Bart Scott making an appearance on this Thursday’s TNA Impact, which airs at 9 PM on Spike TV.  Now, the Jets have two other items that people have been talking about.  The Jets announced a 2.3% increase on all PSL seats.  They also announced for front office staff they have to take non paid week long furloughs once a month during the lockout.  Even with the season over and the CBA looming this week, the Jets still know how to make the headlines.

There will be a 2.3% average increase in ticket prices at New Meadowlands Stadium for the 2011 season. Upper level seat prices will remain the same.  I am sure those ticket holders are breathing a sigh of relief. The cost of all seats with a PSL will increase by $5.  If there is a shortened season, the effect will not be as bad.

Season-ticket holders will be required to pay only 50% of their season tickets & parking by April 1; full payment was due by that date last year. The remaining portion won’t be due until the league announces the date that training camps will open. Season-ticket holders will also have a six-month payment plan option.  I applaud the Jets for doing this.  They finally woke up and understand people may not be able to flip the entire bill by April 1st.  They should have started payment plans years ago.

Photo: JetsTwit.com

In the case of a lockout, season-ticket holders will be refunded a proportional amount if preseason or regular-season games are lost.  PSL payments won’t be affected by a lockout.  So no matter what, fans still need to hand over their money to help pay for the stadium, and their new renovations.

“While we have every reason to believe that the season will go forward as planned, we’ve adjusted our ticket policies to reflect this period of uncertainty,” said Matt Higgins, executive vice president of business operations.

The Jets will also work in conjunction with Mark Lamping, the CEO of the New Meadowlands Stadium Company, to provide more shelter from rain in the upper level end zone concourses and add 40% more capacity in the mens restrooms in the upper level. I interviewed fans who thought this move should have been done.  Fan favorite Woody Johnson toured the upper level concourse in the rain toward the end of the regular season before determining that more shelter from the inclement weather was needed.  The Jets played more than half their home games in the rain.

Matt Higgins also said “In the first year of any new stadium, you have a chance to evaluate what worked right and then where you can improve. “There’s always room for improvement. We had a few issues that we’re going to address in the off-season to improve the experience in the upper bowl.”  Fans during the season expressed a lot of changes that needed to be made.  It seems the Jets have listened to some of them.

The Jets also reduced orange level parking prices for season-ticket holders from $25 to $15. The orange parking is the NON PSL parking.  Fans can also upgrade parking levels from orange to yellow on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Many wanted to do this, seeing the yellow was closer and better areas to tailgate in.  There was only one orange parking section in close proximity to the stadium.  The rest was by the Izod Center.

Many fans have e mailed me saying they saw some kind of increase coming.  With no stadium sponsor the Jets and Giants need to generate extra revenue.  They may claim rising costs and overhead or economy issues, but with no stadium named after a big company, there is money that needs to be made.  If there is a full season, one seat will be $40 higher.  There is part of one parking pass or a 1/4 tank of gas right now.

On top of that the team announced that business-side employees will be asked to take a one-week per month furlough during the lockout.

“While we have every reason to believe that the season will go on as planned, it makes sense to adjust our policies to reflect that uncertainty around exactly when an agreement will be reached,” said Matt Higgins said, per the NY Daily News.

The effects of the lockout could prove catastrophic for some employees.  News of the proposed furlough came on the same day the team announced a blanket 2.3 percent increase on all season tickets in 2011.

This could backfire on the Jets.  Some employees might have to seek other employment.  This is not the kind of economy where not being paid one week a month would sit well with many.  Others might try to stick it out, seeing they work for an NFL franchise.  So the Jets try to cut costs in their organization and raise prices for fans to pay more for tickets.

Shouldn’t the Jets be the ones to pay more and try to save money for the fans?  I know there will be some kind of evidence where the Jets have said or will try to make sure fans pay less for something.  Not just on non PSL parking, but for everyone?  Now the payment plans and paying for only games played is a great business decision.  But there should be at least one season where the fans do not have to see prices go up on them.  Just once.

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