If you thought that buying your NFL season ticket is all you need as far as a ticket’s cost is concerned, then you thought wrong. For more than half of the League’s teams, parting with money for a season ticket’s seat of your choice isn’t the only thing you’re required to do.
Ever heard of a "personal seat license" or PSL? This refers to the right to be able to purchase a season ticket for your team. Essentially, what this means is that you’re paying in order to pay for something! For about 50% of teams in the NFL, this is actually the norm.
Teams that mostly use PSLs are those that have opened new stadiums recently. With a new stadium, almost every seat will normally come with a price tag. This means that in order for you to purchase a season ticket, you’ve to purchase the seat as well. For the new Minnesota Vikings stadium, a PSL will cost $500 at the cheapest, but also 3 or 4 times for more priced seats.
Once all the PSLs are sold up, the only way you can get your own is by buying from a fan who already has their own. On the resale market, things can get really expensive. Take for instance an upper-deck seat at the Bengals' stadium that went for $1,000, or a mid-level one at the Ravens' stadium that went for over $10,000. If you’re buying the rights to a single field-level seat at the Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium, then don’t be surprised if required to fork out over $250,000!
And don’t forget that you’re not actually buying any season ticket with all this money but just purchasing the RIGHT to buy it before you can fork out more for the real ticket!
With this kind of policy, what it also means for the fans is that if your team happens to relocate to a new stadium, you either be ready to part with these exorbitant amounts of money or you face the possibility of losing your rights to your seat as a season ticket holder.
However, looking at it from a business point of view, this can make some sense. Since NFL teams host just 8 home games annually, their owners want to try and squeeze as much cash out of these limited opportunities as they can.