There was an interesting blog entry on the Fifth Down blog of the New York Times this past week. It seems that the waiting list for New York Jets tickets is now non-existent. It used to be an estimated ten years long, and they charged people $50 a year to stay on the list. It says that you can pretty much sit where you want now by just walking in with the cash. I’m still angry at the way we were taken for granted after over 40 years of attendance, but at least I got to go to games. Imagine paying $500 to stay on a waiting list ($50 times 10 years) without having been to a game, and then learning that once seats were available, anyone could get them for the same that you could (provided they had a lot of cash or wanted to take out a new mortgage)? The main subject of the blog entry was that the Giants were cutting prices and having trouble selling their seats. The blog said that the list for Giant tickets had been an estimated 25 years long and I remember hearing it was 50 years at one point. I wonder when the NFL will wake up and realize that enough is enough. Killing the fan base can’t be good for the league. The money is isn’t going to the league. It’s being spent to pay for a stadium that isn’t needed and which costs $1.6 Billion (with a B!).

I’ve got a basement full of old grills for before the game and a closet of Jet hats and scarves and other paraphenalia that I’ll no longer be using. For years, it’s been a rite of passage around here to go to your first Jet game and get your first hat. Half of our weekends during the season were spent at Shea Stadium and the Meadowlands, cheering for our team even when they were really (REALLY) bad, which has been more years than they were passable, let alone good. On the other weekends,  we made sure to be home or at Dad’s to see the game or hesitated to drive in a direction away from New York in case we got out of range of the radio signal before the game was over.

At least when Leon Hess was alive, the fans mattered a little. Having been told, in so many words, by Woody Johnson that loyalty to the fans was something he and the team don’t have, do they really think we’re going to go out of our way to listen to or watch a broadcast or buy the licensed products they depend on?

Returning to the stadium for one last year before they move across the parking lot is going to be more a nod to nostalgia and one last set of visits with our friends than an expression of loyalty. It might be nice to hear someday that Woody Johnson lost more than he expected on his purchase of the team. That would be fair for a man who took the team from its fans.

2 Responses to “More on the New York Jets, Season Tickets, and Loyalty”

  1. John Schneyer says:

    Bill,

    Over 20 years ago (before the kids), I called the Giants to find out about getting season tickets. After the woman stopped laughing, she told me the waiting list was at least 25 years long and, realistically, the only way to get tickets was to have someone die and will them to me. I hung up.

    My next call was to the Jets. Very politely I was informed that the list was a few years long, they would be happy to have me on it, that I would get a post card every year telling me where I stood and, there was not cost to this.

    Every year I got a post card and saw I was making progress. After 4-5 years, I got the letter telling me I was now able to buy season tickets and asking how many I wanted. I grabbed two; one for my brother and one for me.

    Back then the Jets were a very cheap ticket (maybe $25/ticket/game), parking was $5 or $10, and you did not have to buy the pre-season games. The Jets were one of the only teams back then that didn’t gouge you.

    We had a great time going to the Meadowlands even though we had last row, upper deck, 5 yard line seats. It was a day out.

    Now that I am in South Florida, many people have responded to the lackluster performances of the Dolphins and the high cost of tickets by purchasing nice, big screen TVs, getting the satellite package and watching whatever game they want. They have a party every Sunday and save a fortune.

    It’s too bad the football (and baseball) games are no longer family attractions unless you are wealthy.

  2. Hipolito M. Wiseman says:

    Great Looking Site… Good Job ! Let’s go J-E-T-S

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