As she left the Falcons’ stadium preview center Tuesday afternoon, season-ticket holder Cheryl Thomas said she was “most definitely relieved” by the team’s latest round of pricing on personal seat licenses.
The first round in January set prices of $10,000 to $45,000 for the new downtown stadium’s 7,500 club seats, triggering a serious case of sticker shock among many fans. The second round, approved Tuesday morning by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority board, set prices of $500 to $5,500 for the 60,000-plus non-club seats.
Personal seat licenses — one-time fees for the right to buy season tickets in a specific seat for at least 30 years —have been one of the more hotly debated aspects of the Falcons’ stadium project. The new batch of PSL prices won’t change that, but does offer a fuller picture of the costs.
“I think it achieves the goal, which was to make sure the building was accessible (to fans at a wide range of price points),” Falcons president and CEO Rich McKay said.
In all, there are 13 price points on seat licenses, ranging from $45,000 for lower-bowl club seats along the 50-yard line to $500 for upper-bowl seats behind an end zone.
The newly set PSL prices for non-club seats peak at $5,500 for lower-bowl sideline seats between the goal lines and the 20-yard lines. (All lower-bowl seats between the 20s are club seats, coming with access to lounges and other amenities.) The most expensive upper-bowl seats carry a $2,000 PSL fee.
The prices were approved by the GWCCA board in a unanimous vote. The GWCCA, a state agency, will own the stadium and had approval rights under terms of its agreement with the Falcons.
“Obviously (the Falcons) have gone through and done an extensive amount of research on making sure that the price points were responsive to the audiences that they are appealing to,” GWCCA executive director Frank Poe said. “We feel very good about where everything has landed at this point.”
The Falcons said the seat licenses can be purchased with a 10-percent down payment and can be financed without interest until 2017, when the stadium opens, or with interest over 10 additional years.
The seat licenses are just the start of the costs of attending games, of course. PSL holders will have to buy season tickets each year to retain their seats.
The Falcons declined to disclose Tuesday the season-ticket prices for non-club seats in 2017. McKay said they will be “moderately higher” than current prices in the Georgia Dome “depending on where you sit.”
“We want to share it with our ticket holders first,” McKay said. “We want to bring them in (to the preview center) and show them their seats and their options … and show them their price.”
He said season-ticket prices will not go up in 2018 or 2019, the team’s second and third seasons in the stadium.
Michael Drake, vice president of Legends Global Sales, the firm retained by the Falcons to operate the sales program, said his staff will seek to schedule appointments with all Falcons non-club season-ticket holders over the next five months. All will be offered comparable seat locations to what they currently have, he said.
A couple of hours after the GWCCA’s endorsement of the new prices, sales representatives were pitching the PSLs to season-ticket holders in the preview center off Northside Parkway.