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Personal Seat Licenses Essay

1300 words - 5 pages

The cost of building a state-of-the-art facility has grown dramatically over the past decade. As the pressure rises on intercollegiate athletic programs to raise as much money as possible, universities have been depending increasingly on high-cost amenities such as luxury boxes, personal seat licenses and club seating. Luxury seating includes special skyboxes usually purchased by corporations at premium prices and another level of more expensive seating often referred to as club seats. Club seat ticket holders often have better views, preferred parking, indoor/outdoor options and higher quality food and beverage service including a wait staff. Luxury seating alone is a tremendous moneymaker and is the second most important revenue stream for sports franchises behind television revenues.The most talked about of the three has become the personal seat license. Personal seat licenses are a relatively new revenue source. They give fans the right to buy a season ticket or specialty seating such as club seats. PSL's offer the holder a series of amenities and benefits including the right to transfer your long-term season-ticket rights, sometimes for a profit.Stadium revenues come in a variety of ways, and in today's world of professional and collegiate sports, they are the key to profitable teams. This is why many team owners claim they cannot afford to keep teams in old stadiums without the tremendous earnings potential of special seating and other stadium income. In theory, seat licenses are a simple if slightly devious device that allows teams to raise large amounts of cash in a hurry. Typically, the money is used to help cover stadium improvements or construction costs. It has worked well in professional sports, and the colleges have seen that. It just makes sense it would filter down to intercollegiate athletics. The concept of PSL's has been spreading through collegiate athletic departments over the last few years.PSL's typically cost anywhere from $250 to $5,000 per seat and average more than $1,000. Often the most and least expensive seats are the first to sell out. As existing teams attempt to use this concept in the future, there will be a need for more creative amenities and marketing programs so that fans are not turned off.At Ohio State's Schottenstein Center, 4,500 personal seat licenses were sold in three price levels, $15,000, $7,500 and $4,000. These grant the holder the right, or license, to purchase a season ticket for the seat for 40 years, as well as receive special amenities, such as preferred parking rights and access to hospitality areas. But you just don't pay for a license and tickets. Buyers of seat licenses also must pay an annual fee, ranging from $150 to $2,000 per seat, to endow athletic scholarships. And after 10 years, some of these license holders must pay a $1,000 "maintenance fee" for their seats, with another such fee due every fifth year thereafter.Club seating, part of a personal seat license program, is another way...

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