In October of 1993 Jerry Richardson had something to say to the group of people who helped him get an NFL franchise to the Carolinas.
“Pat yourself on the back and when I get back to Charlotte,” he told them, “I’m going to say thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!”
PSL’s or Permanent Seat Licenses, played a big part in the NFL awarding Richardson the Panthers.
The concept was created originally for the Charlotte Hornets by sports marketer Max Muhleman, who then brought the idea to Richardson as a way to pay for a new stadium.
The way it works? You pay the team a one-time fee for a seat in the stadium, which grants you the right to purchase season tickets for that seat.
But according to language in the PSL contracts hose licenses are tied to Bank of America Stadium. If the Panthers play anywhere else -- in a new city or in a new stadium -- the contract is void.
A quarter century ago, in an effort just to get a team, Muhleman and Richardson could not have envisioned the team would leave Charlotte or need a new stadium after just 22 years.
“We never thought about the team moving, we thought we get a stadium, we get a team, and it’ll be supported,” Muhleman told NBC Charlotte. “If we build this great stadium sitting here in the middle of Charlotte, who’s going to leave?”
But Barry Reeves, who owns two PSL’s told us: “I don’t feel that’s going to happen, but he could ask for a new stadium. And then what happens to us PSL owners.”
Reeves is one of over 60,000 PSL owners today who help fill a vast majority of the stadium on gameday.
“We got excited and wanted to share our tickets with our children as well,” he said of the purchase.
Like Reeves, many PSL owners own multiple seats.
“I have friends that have 6 and 8 seats,” he said.
And it’s a big financial commitment. Panthers PSL prices range anywhere from $3,000-$25,000.
PSL’s on the secondary market in new stadiums like Dallas and Atlanta are reaching six figures.
New ownership could go a long way with PSL owners by letting them pick their seats at a new stadium, giving them a discounted rate on PSL’s for a new building or not making them buy new PSL’s at all.
“To double-dip on us PSL owners, doesn’t seem like a wise business decision,” Reeves said. “I can’t imagine any PSL owner would take kindly to that.”
Said Muhleman: “You can’t offend those people…how much do you value what they’ve done? I think they’d lose a large segment.”
It all leaves PSL owners like Reeves hoping that the owner is as appreciative of the fans as the old one.
“The 60,000 of us most loyal fans,” he said. “We put our money where our mouth is. We’ve backed the team financially.”