The new Las Vegas Raiders stadium may be going up at lightning speed, but it’s not going up cheap. Coming up with the funding for the fast-tracked project requires various strategies, and personal seat licenses (PSLs) are one that the team plans to employ.
Even with a $750 million check from the state of Nevada to build the new stadium near the Las Vegas Strip, the NFL team is facing daunting costs. To help fund the $1.8 billion Las Vegas Stadium project, the Raiders PSLs will be in line with what other NFL teams have done to finance lavish new venues in recent years.
Buy Now, Buy Later
The one-time PSL cost will allow fans to purchase season tickets at the sporting venue for all time, but that’s all it covers: the actual tickets themselves aren’t included.
The Raiders will sell PSLs for their future home for $20,000, $35,000, and $75,000 (depending on seats) to help pay for the $850 million in building costs the team will pay, according to a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The R-J reports that PSLs will bring in $160 million from 8,000 seats.
Fans purchasing PSLs have the option of financing the one-time payment, according to the report.
What the Raiders are doing to raise money isn’t uncommon, of course. In recent years, such tactics have been used to fund state-of-the-art stadiums all across the NFL. Stadiums — all built within the last decade — that have charged PSL fees include:
- AT&T Stadium in Dallas: $2,000-$150,000
- Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco: $2,000-$80,000
- Metlife Stadium in New York: $750-$35,000 (Giants); $500-$125,000 (Jets)
- S. Bank Stadium in Minnesota: $500-$9,500
- Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta: $500-$45,000
A stadium currently being built in Los Angeles — which will be the shared home of the Rams and Chargers — is being funded by a similar model. Stadium seat licenses (SSL) at the future home of Los Angeles’ professional football teams are selling for as high as $100,000 for the Rams, and $75,000 for the Chargers. Fans who purchase SSLs will have that money refunded in fifty years, according to a Los Angeles Times report.
While that might seem like a gesture of goodwill, it’s far from the norm across the NFL. Earlier this year, Forbes reported that a fan of the New York Jets who was required to pay a PSL fee for the right to purchase season tickets is now suing the team after the Jets announced they would no longer require PSLs. The man’s claim is that the Jets did not operate in good faith by requiring some people to purchase PSLs, but then waiving it for others.
The team might have some difficulty convincing fans to fork up anywhere between $20,000 and $75,000 just for the right to buy tickets, but they’ve already persuaded their biggest skeptic — the National Football League itself — by making the move to Las Vegas at all.
The NFL has long held the belief that betting on football is bad for the sport. For that reason, Las Vegas was always a pariah in the eyes of the league. Just months before the Raiders finalized plans to relocate, Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the league’s concerns about having a team there.
“We’ve seen changes in the culture around the country in gambling,” Goodell told Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd in January 2017. We’re obviously very sensitive to that, but we’re also going to evaluate the Raiders case on the relocation application in what’s in the overall best interests of the league.
But one thing we can’t ever do is a compromise on the game. That’s one of the things we’ll do is make sure the policies we’ve created, if we did in any was approve the Raiders, I don’t see us compromising on any of the policies,” Goodell added.
In May — just 15 months after the Raiders’ relocation from Oakland to Las Vegas was made official — the United States Supreme Court struck down a federal ban on sports betting, opening the door for legalized sports betting in all 50 states.