It is no secret that the New York Jets are having a hard time selling their Personal Seat Licenses in the new stadium. This is reiterated by the advertisements all over the internet, television, and newspapers. Gang Green was once a team that sold out every game and had a decent sized waiting list, and now due to either pricing, the economy, or a little bit of both, the team has become increasingly desperate to sell season tickets. Recently I had a chance to speak with a couple of season ticket holders to get their views on the state of the New York Jets.
Tyson Rauch – New York Jets Examiner: What are your thoughts on the moves made by the Jets this off-season?
Roger Stein (season ticket holder since 1978) – Will help in the short term, and many of the moves are PSL related going back to the Brett Favre signing. The core of the team should be built though the draft (younger and more cost effective players). Free agent signings and trades should be for filling in the gaps.
Tony Ambrogio (family has had season tickets for 17 years)-Regarding the Jets off-season moves, I as a fan have had many mixed emotions on the moves they have made. I’ve loved the fact that they are going out and trying to improve the roster after a winning season and that they are are not giving up much to do so, as evident by the Santonio Holmes and Antonio Cromartie deals. They have taken a very proactive approach to improving the roster, and its nice to know that upper management is dedicated and focused mainly on the success of the organization. I was also very excited to see that the Jets significantly improved through the draft and the signing of UDFA’s, which everyone knows has not exactly been the strength of the organization over the years. They have proved to me that they actually care and are willing to do whatever it takes to bring the Lombardi Trophy to the green half of New York.
However, I have not liked that they are kicking some of the well respected veterans to the curb and are getting older in areas that they need young blood. Thomas Jones was without a doubt the most respected player on the team by his teammates, and outside of possibly Revis and Sanchez, was the most beloved by the fans last year. While getting LaDainian Tomlinson helped ease some of my concerns from a performance perspective, I was not at all pleased with the terms and circumstances he left on. I was also upset about the release of Alan Faneca. While I know he was merely a shell of his former Pittsburgh Steeler self, Faneca was the veteran leader of the offensive line and was also held in high regard by his peers. This move puzzled me, because the Jets are saving pocket change by cutting him, and his currently unnamed replacement will be someone with very limited professional experience. I also would have liked to seen the Jets address defensive end in the offseason considering Ellis’ age and health concerns. Overall, though, this has been the most exciting offseason I have ever experienced, and I have a strong feeling that the moves they made will pan out and lead to a memorable year.
TR: How would you rate Woody Johnson’s tenure as an owner?
Roger Stein- He is at least trying to improve the team, (I do not agree on the approach and it’s a short term solution). I respect the fact that he visits the tailgaters in the parking lot before the game (met him several times), but he has pushed many of the loyal fans out due to the cost.
Tony Ambrogio- Under Woody the Jets have been basically a .500 team and have had 4 different head coaches. All-Time NFL greats like Curtis Martin have not been properly honored (in my opinion) and every Jets fans favorite player, Wayne Chrebet, who sacrificed his body for countless years and suffers medically from his numerous concussions, was given nothing more at his appreciation game than a watch and a picture of a fly-over (I think both of these men need to have there numbers retired by the Jets). Having said that, I have been delighted to see that Woody has begun to embody the very nature of a Jets fan. He has grown feisty and hungry for a championship, and has revealed his dedication to success on the field and desire to be the top football team in town. Considering all of these facts, I would give him a grade of B-minus, but this could easily sky rocket to an A-plus if he lives up to his own hype this year.
TR: What are your thoughts on the Jets new stadium?
Roger Stein- Very costly for the fan, PSL’s and increase in prices. I have non PSL seats, they are increasing 56% ($80 to $125 and going from the lower bowl last year to the upper this year) and the parking 25% ($20 to $25) and the designated parking is awful. I feel like a steerage passenger (low class) on the Titanic. With the Super Bowl talks, it is tough to justify the cost. I can’t imagine paying these prices with a couple of 4 win seasons.
Tony Ambrogio- I went and visited the new Meadowlands stadium recently for the “Greet Your Seat” promotion the Jets held, and when I entered the stadium, I was extremely impressed. The stadium looked beautiful, and I loved the 4 screens in each corner which will hopefully make it easier to see replays more clearly. I was disapointed that my 17 year tenure could do me no better than 13 rows higher than my previous seats and how the PSL prices made it near impossible to move any closer to the action. The stadium as a whole was nice.
Denise Burke (family had season tickets since 1972)– Woody is all about the $$$, he could care less about the fans. I did not ask them to build this stadium as I was perfectly happy with the old one. Now to insult the old fans with this parking situation and asking a 72 yr old man to walk a mile to get to his seat is nonsense.
TR: Thank you for taking some time to answer these questions.
I think most Jets fans agree that Gang Green is trying their best to get to the next level, the motivation behind moves is where the questions come in. In addition the transition to the new stadium has left a foul taste in the mouths of many die-hard fans. It is going to be interesting to see the attendance numbers once the “newness” of the stadium wears off.