Apparently the bye week is only for the players, because the 49ers front office has been busy. Aside from hammering down lease terms and dealing with newly energized opposition to the stadium project, the team has also taken the time to release pricing (via the Merc’s Mike Rosenberg) for their club “seat builder licenses.” And boy, the prices are a doozy. Not as bad as what the Cowboys charged their fans, but considering the same Cowboys-owned company that market the Cowboys’ licenses was hired to sell the 49ers’, it stands to reason that the pricing models would be somewhat similar. Lower club seats on the 50 yard line will carry a $80,000 license fee along with a season ticket price of $3,750.
In 2009 I took a stab at SBL pricing. I couldn’t have been more off. Prices for prime seat location licenses are more than five times what I guessed. Whether the market will actually bear those prices is up for debate, though the marketing firm must have done some research over the last six months to determine pricing. Mike Rosenberg’s article doesn’t mention financing for the licenses, but I expect that financing will be available. It’s just another way for the 49ers to make money on the stadium. At 9% over 20 years, the $80k license would cost $8,040 per year, or $795 per month.
Timing has to be taken into consideration. Would the 49ers be able to charge these prices if the team had racked up another sub-.500 record? Probably not. Because they have home field advantage and at least a decent shot against either the Saints and Packers, the fanbase is back – which means demand is back.
As is customary with ticket sticker shock, many fans will be priced out of the prime seats. The 49ers haven’t yet announced pricing for regular seats, so I’m curious as to how many of those will carry SBL fees. This pricing model could imply that the premium seat buyers will carry much of the freight for construction, which could drive down the ticket prices for other locations. On the other hand, it could mean that rising costs and debt have to be passed on to the public in the form of SBL prices. We’ll have to wait to see the prices on non-club seats to know for sure. I don’t think licenses will come with 80% of all seats like Cowboys Stadium, but I’ve been wrong on this already once.