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money for nothing

Imagine paying fifty dollars for the privilege of standing in line.

That's exactly what you are doing if you are on the wait-list for New York Jets season tickets.

From Phil Mushnick, New York Post sportswriter:

In the 20-plus years this column has addressed sports-based extortions, we've never experienced a greater nor angrier response to a fleecing than in the last week, after the Jets quietly decided to charge the roughly 22,000 people on their season-tickets waiting list a $50 annual fee. That figures to be roughly $1 million a year. You can do hard time for stealing a million bucks, no?

Imagine if your local movie theater or concert arena asked you to pay for standing in line for tickets, even if you may never get those tickets. I think there is a correct phrase for this: rip-off.

So why are the Jets allowed to get away with this? Let's see what Jets president Jay Cross has to say:

This week [Cross] explained the $50 annual charge as a means to "keep them in the family" and a way to "treat them like valued customers, even though they're in waiting."

Excuse me? I guess all those college courses I took in sports marketing and sports arena management neglected to mention that you can show a fan how much you value them by robbing them. Silly me, I thought you were supposed to treat them as if you thought they had brains.

When Leon Hess owned the Jets I observed my hatred towards the man by never going to Hess gas station. Never even bought one of those ubiquitous Hess Trucks. I know it didn't make a dent in old Leon's moneybags, but it made me feel like I was doing something instead of just sitting on the sidelines stewing.

Mushnick wants to employ similar tactics against the current owner of the team:

The Jets are owned by Robert Wood (Woody) Johnson IV, of Johnson & Johnson fame and fortune. My suggestion is for people on the Jets' waiting list to send in their $50 bucks and include a written and sincere vow to spend a lot less - perhaps even hundreds of dollars less per year - on Johnson & Johnson products.

While I am not a season-ticket holder in waiting and no one is asking me for fifty bucks, I am still outraged at the audacity of the Jets to think that charging people for absolutely nothing is ok.

This is the time of Jets Fest. Jets training camp operates out of Hofstra University, just five minutes from my front door. We go every year and enjoy the games and displays they have set up and watch the Jets train and scrimmage.

This time, I have a different plan. I am going to head over there with bows and arrows (shut up, I'll find them somewhere) and I am going to attach Monopoly $50 bills to the end of the arrows and I'm going to shoot them into the big, inflatable Jet that sits outside of Hofstra. On those fake bills, I will be sure to write some kind of message like, oh, "Fuck you, you greedy bastards. I hope Shockey breaks his leg and the Jets lose every game this season and Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder is the target of an ugly rumor about anthrax and terrorists."

Or maybe I'll just write them an angry letter.

TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference money for nothing:

» J-E-T-S - Extort, Extort, Extort, Extort! from The Eleven Day Empire
We've all heard of outrageous stories of sports teams coming up with new ways to separate fans from their money. [Read More]

» Jets Not Extorting from The American Mind
Michele rants on the New York Jets' new policy of making people on their season tickets waiting list pay to [Read More]

» Screw the fans, part 73 from pr9000.net ... ten pounds of hip in a five-pound blog.
We can't stay away from tales of abusive sports owners. Michele at A Small Victory (linked to your right) takes note of the latest shakedown: the New Jersey Jets charging fans $50 a year to hold their place on the... [Read More]

Comments

The Raiders had PSLs (Personal Seat Licenses). As near as I can tell, the way these worked was that people would pay $10,000 for a license that allowed them to spend more money to buy actual tickets.

Now Al Davis is suing because the Raiders didn't sell out all their games. It's really a wonder that some angry fan hasn't yet killed him.

Ok...wait...Shockey? Jeremy Shockey? Isn't he with the Giants?

Otherwise, great post. Unbelievable what major league sports won't do. (More unbelievable what the fans won't pay).

Eh, I was mixing one angry post with another. Honestly, I can't think of anyone on the Jets I would wish an injury on.

oh i know that...you're as level-headed as they come :)

I just thought that my favorite hot-headed Giants player was traded or something ~ and I missed the news.

I suppose this is a growing phenomom.. phemomin... phemomero... trend.

The Philadephia Eagles will start this next season in a brand-spanking new stadium, all their own.

The Eagles franchise decided that, with the opening of the season and new stadium, fans would no longer be allowed to bring their own food into the stadium.

This has nothing at all to do with obscenely-priced concession sales - oh, no! It's for security reasons. One never knows what some eeevil fan might try to smuggle in, hidden between the salami and provolone.

Well. Two things you don't do to an Eagles fan. You don't wear a Dallas Cowboys hat to the game (or a turban, nowadays, although I'm not sure which is worse), and you don't mess with his food - his hoagies and cheesesteaks in particular. The poop, as they say, hit the proverbial fan.

Not more than two days after the initial story broke, the Eagles franchise had had an epiphany. They found a way around the "security concerns." Hooray!

Ok, you can have your hoagies! We were only kidding! Just bring your food in a clear plastic bag. Why, it was only your safety that concerned us!

My ass.

About a year or so ago, my in-laws, who were multi-year (as in decades) season ticket holders for Mizzou (University of Missouri-Columbia) basketball, were informed that they could contribute an obscene amount (memory fails, but it was something awful like $1500.), for the privilege of possibly buying season tickets (not even the seats they'd previously held).

So much for being a loyal, dollar-supporting fan for ages -- it was a new era, dontcha know. And I'm sure the university (or whatever third-party ownership arm shielded the university from accountability), parlayed the loyal support of individual fans into corporate-sponsored (tax-supported right-offs) into mega bucks.

Of course, I've not been a big sport fan following the (decade or so ago) baseball strike. May they all rot in hell, I sez.

That's some set of balls they have for doing something like that.

Especially since their last Super Bowl win is closing in on "a generation ago" status.

I always liked both the Jets and Giants (though I favored the Giants) up until the 1986 season, when Jets fans got cocky when they were 10-1 and started acting as though the Super Bowl was theirs.

I remember them going ballistic when Paul McGwire predicted they wouldn't win another game that season (and they didn't) and I remember their New York backstabbing when suddenly a good number of them became Broncos fans for the Super Bowl.

Ever since, I have loathed the Jets until recent years when I just started feeling sorry for them because they were just so pathetic. Now they're screwing their own fans. Nice.

It's mainly because of professional sports teams getting so greedy that I've been supporting minor league teams. The Kane County Cougars are a minor league baseball team west of Chicago, and they play with so much drive and enthusiasm. Tickets cost $5, and fans love them. One would think pro teams would learn from them.

The guy's name is "Woody Johnson"?

Troll, I was thinking along the lines of what you're thinking when I saw that.

It's kind of like the race car driver with the name Dick Trickle (I'm not making tha tup).

I wish the Green Bay Packers did something like this. Then maybe I'd get on the waiting list and actually have a shot at getting tickets. It would also be smart for a (really) small-market team like them. Packers fans WILL pay. We are that crazy.

Jay, don't mess with Dick Trickle. He's one of the greatest stock car drivers you never heard of. He's mostly raced around the Midwest but a few years ago he was in NASCAR's Grand National and Winston Cup series.

I'm sure Dick Trickle is a great driver, but that's still a funny name.

well, now that Flash Gordon is back from saving the kingdom of Mongol, the Jets should have a pretty good team.

Hey Sean, I'm a NASCAR fan (Yes I admit it. By moving 10 mins away from Daytona International Speedway, it simply sucks you in. Besides, it's cool that a lot of these guys are just simply guys who drive cars at 190+ mph and not the pampered spoiled brats we have to read about in football, basketball and baseball) so I know all about Dick Trickle. He could have been the greatest stock car driver all of time, but that wouldn't changed the fact that he has one funny name.

Well Jet fans it could be worse...you could be Cubs fans and have Ozzy showing up to sing at your home games.