New York Jets tickets on the secondary market are selling for half as much as those for New York Giants games in the same stadium, five weeks into the National Football League season,
While seats for the defending Super Bowl-champion Giants, who are 3-2, go for an average of $371, the price of about $185 for the 2-3 Jets is below the NFL average of $197, the online ticket-price aggregator TiqIQ said. A quarter of the seats at MetLife Stadium are on the secondary market for the Jets’ final three home games.
NFL teams such as the Jets, who borrowed $650 million for their half of the stadium, have debt repayment “insulated” from poor on-field performance by long-term deals with sponsors and luxury ticket holders, said Dan Champeau, head of U.S. public finance and global infrastructure at Fitch Ratings. Renewing such deals gets harder as losses pile up.
“From a long-term perspective, to the extent subpar performance continues, it has an effect on the renegotiation of long-term revenue agreements,” said Champeau, the managing director and head of the company’s sports practice. “Clearly that would be impactful.”
Jets President Neil Glat said the team’s focus is on primary ticketing rather than the secondary market, and that season-ticket and sponsorship sales remain strong, without disclosing specifics.
“In terms of season tickets, we have terrific fan support and a great roster of sponsors, so that business is healthy,” Glat said in a telephone interview. “Certainly on-field performance is important to fans, and it is important to us. We all want to win. The business is healthy and if we win more it gets even healthier.”
With the Jets hit by injuries to top players such as Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis and top receiver Santonio Holmes, sports books have joined fans in doubting coach Rex Ryan’s team. Their odds to win the Super Bowl have climbed to 200-1 from 40-1 at the start of the season, according to the Las Vegas Hotel’s Super Book.
After consecutive losses to the San Francisco 49ers and Houston Texans in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the Jets’ Oct. 14 home game against the Indianapolis Colts may take on added importance, especially with a road game against the division-leading New England Patriots to follow.
The Jets are three-point favorites against the Colts, who are coming off a 30-27 upset of the Green Bay Packers.
“Winning changes a lot and losing is no fun,” quarterback Mark Sanchez told reporters this week. “If you want to call it frustration or just flat out being upset that we haven’t won, then you can call it that, too.”
The Jets’ approach under Ryan had been called “Ground and Pound,” with an offense that ran the ball and a defense that shut down opposing running backs. Those days, which fostered back-to-back trips to the American Football Conference championship game in Ryan’s first two seasons, seem distant now.
The Jets, 8-8 last season, have the 25th-ranked rushing attack in the NFL and lead back Shonn Greene is averaging a career-low 2.9 yards a carry. New York was held to fewer than 75 rushing yards in each of the past two games, while surrendering 169 yards in the loss to the Texans on Oct. 8.
“We need to get the run game going,” Ryan told reporters this week. “If we can run the ball, that will open up a lot of things in the passing game.”
Sanchez, in his fourth season, epitomizes the Jets’ woes.
Only two quarterbacks have a worse rating than Sanchez’s 66.6. He’s completed 48.4 percent of his throws, the lowest in his career. Meanwhile, backup quarterback Tim Tebow waits on the sideline.
Tebow came in a trade after leading the Denver Broncos to the playoffs a year ago following a late-season substitution. He has seen limited action with New York, rushing 14 times for 57 yards and completing only one pass.
“They’re back in the mold where they’d like to run the football, but now it’s a new system,” former Jets coach Herm Edwards said on ESPN radio. “The defense is not where it should be and so they’re saying to Mark Sanchez, ‘Hey, you’ve got to bail us out.”’
Sanchez is limited by a receiving corps headed by rookie Stephen Hill and former fifth-round draft pick Jeremy Kerley. The Jets lost Holmes, their top target, to a season-ending foot injury and last week tried cornerback Antonio Cromartie at wide receiver.
“Rex and (General Manager) Mike Tannenbaum have really got to worry about the way this team looks as the season goes on,” said Boomer Esiason, a former Pro Bowl quarterback who’s now an NFL analyst for CBS Sports. “But I will say this, their schedule gets a little bit easier.”
New York’s final nine regular-season games are against opponents who now have a combined 22-23 record.
The Jets don’t have a single remaining home date with an average ticket resale price that tops any game for the Giants, who play the 49ers in san Francisco Oct. 14.
The Jets’ highest-priced ticket is $222 for a Nov. 22 game against the Patriots, while the Giants’ lowest was $242 for a Sept. 16 contest against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Ryan said he shares the fans’ frustration.
“We’re kind of just missing in some spots,” the coach said. “I really believe we’re close. I’m confident. We’ve got a hard-working group and I think we’ll improve. The public wants to win just like we do.”