Personal Seat Licenses, the mere right to buy tickets for a seat, are an additional way for a NFL teams to make money before charging for season tickets. 15 current NFL stadiums have some form of PSLs in place, and with stadiums in San Francisco, Minnesota and Atlanta set to open using the model, more than half of the league will be utilizing the system in the near future.
If and when a new stadium is built for the Buffalo Bills, the PSL debate will be a hot topic.
PSLs are a one-time purchase, and are assessed along with building (or extremely renovating) a new stadium. A fan who would like to buy season tickets pays a one-time lump sum of money - between $500 and $80,000 - then can purchase season tickets indefinitely. These licenses are then commodities and can be passed to relatives as gifts, or at death, or sold at a cost the market will bear, even if it's 95 percent depreciated.
Let's take the Minnesota Vikings' new stadium as an example. The team threatened relocation if it didn't get a new venue, and the governor of Minnesota said he didn't want PSLs to be used to fund the new stadium. When the deal was reached, there was a compromise. Instead of raising $200 million for the stadium using PSLs, the Vikings agreed to $100 million, fixing the PSL cost between $500 for the cheaper seats and $10,000 for the most expensive box seats.
PSLs aren't a requirement for new stadiums, however. Stadiums in Arizona and Indianapolis, both constructed within the past decade, don't have PSLs, and the Cardinals' season ticket prices are still below the Bills'. The Chiefs also had cheaper tickets than the Bills in 2013, and chose not to charge PSLs when they completed their $375 million renovation.
If you're totally against the idea of PSLs, would you rather pay a one-time fee or see a big jump in annual season ticket prices? The cost will be passed on one way or the other.