Remember when the “American Dream” was meeting someone you deem worthy to settle down with, have a few kids, and pay your mortgage for that house with the white picket fence? Well, that has all changed for a number of reasons that we won’t get into here. But what we will get into is the new mortgage that we can add to the new meaning of the “American Dream”. That being a mortgage on your season tickets.
Season ticket holders know the annual lament. The cost of prime seats keeps rising, even if the team is lousy.
Now, combine that frustration with cash-strapped college athletics departments, struggling to upgrade aging stadiums, and you’ve got the latest innovation in marketing for big-time athletics – the sports mortgage.
Need some examples? Sure you do.
At Kansas, Jayhawk fans who sign up to pay as much as $105,000 over 10 years will earn the right to buy guaranteed top seats for football over the next three decades. In return, the seats themselves will stay locked in at 2010 prices.
California fans have even more latitude – 30 years to pay for a half-century’s worth of season football tickets. Like a home mortgage, the long-term deal requires the equivalent of annual interest payments.
The new pricing plans are known as “equity seat rights,” and are being pitched as a win-win for fans and teams. Die-hard fans can be certain of what they’ll pay to see their favorite team well into the future – and can always sell tickets in the secondary market while taking a tax write-off for donating to a school. Teams can bank on extra revenue and avoid borrowing.
I’ll just go ahead and coin the phrase “sports foreclosures” before anyone else can. So remember, when the term starts getting thrown around, you heard it here first. Because it’s gonna happen.
Colleges add stadium seats with ‘sports mortgages’ (AP via Washington Post)
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