New York Jets owner Woody Johnson admitted Friday that he may have miscalculated his fan base's willingness to buy expensive personal seat licenses in a bad economy.
"We made a lot of mistakes going along," Johnson told ESPNNewYork.com. "But that's part of being in football."
Addressing the problem before it's too late, and hoping to avoid the embarrassment of a non-sellout for the team's season opener in the $1.6 billion new Meadowlands stadium, the Jets announced price cuts up to 50 percent on 18,000 PSLs. Of that total, about 9,000 are unsold PSLs.
It was a bold move by the Jets. Only last month, Johnson said he had no plans to lower prices, fueling an angry backlash among fans and raising the possibility of a local TV blackout.
Johnson said his "No. 1 objective" is to be sold out by the Sept. 13 opener, a Monday night game against the Baltimore Ravens on ESPN.
"In making these decisions," he said, "we're committed to our goal of selling out."
Johnson likes his chances, claiming "the phones are ringing off the hook" with potential buyers.
The Jets will cut prices in three sections of seats: lower end zone, lower sideline and mezzanine end zone. Lower end-zone seats will be dropped from $5,000 to $2,500, as will those in the mezzanine end zone. Seats in the lower-sideline section will be cut from $15,000 to $10,000.
Those fans who already purchased seats will receive the reduced price.
In February, the Jets slashed the prices of some high-end seats -- the Touchdown Club -- and the response was positive, according to Johnson. In that case, they dropped the cost of $10,000 PSLs to $6,000 and $7,500 and managed to sell the remaining 6,000 in a matter of two weeks, Johnson said.
They're hoping for a similar response to this latest reduction.
"I think it's a good decision," Johnson said. "I hope we've made the correct one. It looks positive so far."
This is the final price reduction, according to the Jets. Single-game tickets aren't available.
Here's a breakdown of the new prices:
Lower end zone: The PSLs in Sections 101, 103, 104, 123, 124, 126, 128, 129, 148 and 149 have been reduced by 50 percent, from $5,000 to $2,500.
Mezzanine end zone B: The PSLs in Sections 201, 202b, 203b, 224b, 225b, 226, 227b and 228b have been cut by 38 percent, from $4,000 to $2,500.
Lower sideline: The PSLs in Sections 110, 116, 135 and 142 have been reduced by 33 percent, from $15,000 to $10,000.