For the past few months, David Levy has been letting us ease drop on the making of his documentary, "Gang Greed." The documentary focuses largely on the NY Jets season ticket holders and the affect that the PSL's have had on them. Here's some more of what Dave has been up to.
We are just over one month away from the start of the 2010 football season. For many long time New York Jets fans, this will be a season to remember. For some, it will be the first season in a brand new stadium in New Jersey, for others, it will be the first time in a long time watching their beloved team from their couches at home. After the events of the past two years, it all culminates in a matter of weeks. It's now is do or die time for the New York Jets organization. Some fans I've spoken to think they are banking on HBO's Hard Knocks in hopes of selling more PSL's, others I have talked to feel it is too little too late.
Some long time season ticket holders feel the sales reps from the New York Jets care more about their sales and quotas than they do about the fans. One long time 50 yard line ticket holder experienced a sales representative who was not just out for a sale, but also out to be disrespectful. This gentleman, who wanted to remain anonymous, has had his tickets since the New York Titans. This 81 year old has followed the Jets from stadium to stadium, but not the new Meadowlands Stadium. When the ticket rep first contacted him before the big Coaches Club Auction in November of 2008, the rep acted like his best friend. He told him that if he agreed to give the Jets organization $50,000 per seat for a PSL, they would not auction off his seats. He had four seats which would have totaled $200,000. He told the sales rep he was a Senior Citizen and could not afford that amount of money. The sales rep then changed his attitude and said he was not a Jets fan then if he would not do it. Is this the mentality of the sales representatives that the Jets employ?
I have heard many similar stories from numerous season ticket holders about Jets sales representatives calling time and time again pushing the sale, talking more about numbers to get them into a seat rather than asking them why they will not commit to a PSL. I was called a number of times myself. Not once did the sales rep even care to ask me why I would not buy one, what the problem was, he simply repeatedly spoke about the advantages of having a PSL.
There is a constant theme you will find in the documentary, where fans are upset with the sales office and feel pushed away by the organization. Many fans still feel put off by the team even after PSL prices were slashed by 50%, others took the bait and flocked like sheep to the lower prices. Some fans felt they had no choice but to purchase the tickets with the steep PSL's if they wanted to attend games. We all have a choice; the alternative is to say no.
There are already seats available for the 2010 New York Jets season on Stub Hub. People are buying the PSL's only to sell off the tickets game by game. You can still get seats for every game and not be a PSL owner. You will save more money over the long term; you just won't own your seats.
In many other stadiums across the country, if you own that seat, you own it for every event in that stadium. For Jets and Giants PSL holders, you only own your seats for that team's events. All other events you have to be on a list, await allocation to the teams, or have a ticket in another seat in the facility. So the PSL is not a TRUE PSL, it is only a football seat license.
While the documentary focuses on the Jets, many NY Giants season ticket holders faced the same problems as well and did not purchase PSL's. Martin Sanford who has had his seats since 1981 feels as he said "shafted" by the Giants. He talked about how he felt as if they did not care if he was going to buy a PSL or not and that the only ones who matter are the ones paying now and not the ones who have given thousands to the team over the years. He feels it is more about what fans will do going forward and not what they have done in the past to support the team during the lean years. After all it is about the new business, not old business. Martin does not care if they have an undefeated season or win a super Bowl. He just wants to see the organization eat its words and not make its money. Even though prices were reduced, Martin knows the team still has to come up with that money to pay for the new stadium. Many feel ticket prices and other costs will rise in the next five years to compensate for that reduction and cover the building costs.
Since 1996 there have been many teams in different sports that have used PSL's. Often, long time season ticket holders did not opt into PSL's and thus began their time watching home games from their own home. The 2010 season now begins that time too for many New York Jets and Giants fans. This will be the first season in a very long time for many fans having to watch home games from their own couches instead of seats inside the stadium. Many fans I have talked to feel comfortable with their decision to walk away, other fans feel awkward being home, not tailgating or taking part in Sunday rituals that have become a part of football life for them. Then there are the fans that will do anything to follow the Jets, as if they are being herded. Some refer to it as drinking the Kool Aid.
I will be there opening night to get fans reactions and feelings on their experience in the new stadium. It remains to be seen if the powers that be at the new stadium will let me film at the new stadium. The stadium is under different management now so I will need to go through the approval process once again. If I had to pay $1,250 an hour to film at the old stadium in the parking lot, I cannot imagine what the rates will be now. Yes, $1,250 per hour was the rate the NJSEA (New Jersey Sports & Exhibition Authority) was asking however, at the old stadium I was able to get that waived the Jets.
This is a whole new stadium ladies and gentlemen, tailgating will be different too. It is going to be an interesting start to a new season. Stay tuned........
More on David's Documentary
- Fireman Ed; the Fan the Man
- Jets / Giants PSL issue should be investigated
- Jets Fans are Shareholders in the New Stadium and Deserve a Voice...
- New York Jets Documentary: For Fans, By Fans
- NY Jets Fans Cornerstone of Team & New Stadium
David Levy is a life long New York Jets fan. He is also a football documentary filmmaker giving Jets fans a voice in "Gang Greed" & sports blogger. David is also working on other various media & writing projects for others and himself through Levy's Bakery Productions.