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PSL's not expected to price fans out in new Bills stadium

Team to charge for personal seat licenses in new $1.4 billion Orchard Park stadium
Highmark Stadium
Posted at 10:24 PM, Mar 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-29 11:55:56-04

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y (WKBW) — With any new NFL Stadium comes a hefty price tag for the team, the taxpayers and those looking to enjoy its state-of-the-art amenities.

It’s expected the Buffalo Bills will add on PSL’s to each season ticket holder’s seat in its new 60,000 seat open-air stadium in Orchard Park.

Monday, the Bills, Erie County and the state announced a new deal for a $1.4 billion stadium, owned by New York State.

What is a PSL?

PSL stands for a personal seat license. By definition, it’s a premium price you pay to enjoy that facility, its amenities, secure your seat and get first dibs to that seat for any events the stadium will host. It’s a one time fee.
“When I first heard about them, I thought it was the greatest scam going,” said Nellie Drew, a Professor of Sports Law at the University at Buffalo. "But it's like anything, if there's a market for it, there's a market for it. The PSL is a way to make sure a portion of the facility financing comes from the people who actually use it.”

How much do they cost?

Around the league, PSL’s can range from $500 a seat to more than $100,000 in some larger-market stadiums like Dallas, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

We called the New York Jets, another New York team that plays in New Jersey to see what their PSL’s are.

A ticket-rep told its cheapest lower level end zone PSL is $4,000 per seat, and its most expensive is $30,000 a seat. The Jets also say they’re rolling out a 10 game ticket pack for the 2023 season that would not include a PSL to buy.

“The price sensitivity varies from market to market,” Drew said. “This is not Los Angeles where they can charge outrageous amounts of money.”

In a Q&A on the team’s website, PSE Executive Ron Raccuia said of PSL’s:

“We're always very aware of the market limitations and not over pricing our fans, especially as we move into a new stadium. PSLs are an integral part of every new stadium construction project. They will be part of our project as well, but we will never get to the point where we price our fans out of attending our games. As I said earlier, the most important thing for us is to create the best home field advantage we possibly can.”

What’s the benefit?

According to an article in 2020 by Pro Football Talk, the Raiders sold PSL’s for 85% of its seats when the team opened Allegiant Stadium in 2020, making $549 million from PSL’s.

According to Drew, PSL’s are a way for teams to finance construction.

“It’s a financing vehicle to make sure they people who are benefiting from the facility are paying their fair share.”

To learn more about the newly announced Bills stadium deal, click here.