Last week we did a breakdown of the Titans stadium and the East Bank development costs, but the half baked deals have left Nashvillians with questions. We received a question about Titans Personal Seat Licenses at the new stadium. Here’s what we found.
PERSONAL SEAT LICENSES
A Personal Seat License (PSL) allows a person to purchase a claim on certain seats in a stadium. Teams use PSLs to guarantee ticket sales and fund new stadiums. PSL policies vary between franchises, but generally, fans purchase PSLs as zero interest loans or through a one-time fee that lasts for a set period of time.
For the Titans, PSL owners must pay a one-time fee and renew their claim every year through the purchase of season tickets. Besides securing valuable seats in a stadium, PSL owners can also turn a profit by selling tickets that they are not using during the season and can even transfer their PSL by selling claims directly through the Titans PSL marketplace.
TITANS PSL POLICIES
Here are a few things to note about the Titans' PSL policies:
- Season tickets for Titans games can only be purchased by PSL owners. If a PSL owner fails to purchase season tickets, they forfeit their PSL.
- PSL owners can transfer their PSLs to a different owner but, as mentioned, do not receive a refund if they don’t find a buyer and fail to purchase season tickets.
- PSLs are considered a capital asset and are not tax deductible.
- The Titans, like many stadiums with PSLs, have experienced a higher number of out-of-town fans for home games. In an attempt to prevent this, they introduced a series of ‘post purchase’ policies on PSL owners that increased the price of their season ticket packages and restricted single-game ticket sales. In 2021, eleven PSL owners filed a lawsuit against the Titans. The case is still open.
- Titans season ticket holders could opt out and receive a refund for purchased tickets during the 2020 season affected by Covid-19.
WILL THE CURRENT PSLS TRANSFER?
This is the million dollar question, and the jury is still out. Discussions between the Mayor’s office, the Titans, and the state have been opaque. In many cases, PSLs do not transfer to new stadiums, but PSL owners are given new PSL purchase preferences based on their stakeholder position in the old stadium. Sometimes PSL owners even receive deals on the purchase of PSLs in a new stadium.
In theory, the sales tax of new Titans stadium PSL purchases will go towards the new stadium if the policy remains the same and the old PSLs are terminated instead of transferred. Only a $700M investment has been promised by Titans ownership. If the franchise does not exclusively offer up new PSL purchase revenue as additional capital to be used toward the construction of the new stadium then PSL revenue will not add to the pot, it will only line the pockets of the ownership.