I swear, now I've heard it all. The latest concept to hit sports teams and their fans, the all new 'sports mortgage'. Yep, you read right! Dedicated die-hard, long-term fans can now lock themselves into prime seats for the duration of 30 or 50 years with the Stadium Financing Capital Group. The concept goes something like this.
Being as the cost of prime seats continue to rise, even if the team is lousy, cash-strapped athletes remain frustrated by their deteriorating stadiums and struggle to keep them upgraded. They are constantly at a loss in making up for the financial shortfalls.
This new innovation in marketing benefits the big-time athletes by offering fans guaranteed top football seats. Jayhawks fans, for example, will pay as much as $150,000 US over a period of ten years to buy the seats for the next three decades. In return, the cost of the seats will remain locked in to the current 2010 prices.
This marketing fundraiser is being called 'equity seat rights' and has been advertised as a win-win for both the teams and the fans. The teams can bank on extra revenue and avoid borrowing money from taxpayers while the fans can be assured of the seat prices they will be paying to see their favourite teams well into the future. If one is buying seats for college or university football, the seat-fees become a tax write-off for donating to a school.
In California, fans have been given an even greater opportunity. They've been offered an 'endowment seating program' which allows 30 years to pay for 50 years worth of season football tickets. The program is going well, as it has sold more than 1,800 of the 3,000 available seats. This has generated $150 million for renovations to its own Memorial Stadium, which was built in 1923. The long-term seating programs come with annual interest payments, much like a home mortgage plus a 6% annual administrative fee.
The Chicago company behind the 'sports mortgage' is confident that these equity seat rights will take over the personal seat license, which does not lock in ticket prices. Even during difficult recession times, the cost of professional and university stadium seat prices go up. Top Jayhawk tickets tier between $175,000 and $225,000 but a club seat will cost more than double that amount if it was paid out over a 30-year period.
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