Frustrated 49ers Fans Selling Seat Licenses

 in Santa Clara, Calif., is getting criticism from some fans that claim the facility isn’t measuring up – and they want out of their seat license agreements.

Photo: AP Photo / Eric Risberg
A groundskeeper does some last minute retouching to the field at Levi’s Stadium July 17, just prior to a June 17 ribbon-cutting. The new, $1.2 billion home of the San Francisco 49ers was built in just 27 months and will host the NFL Super Bowl in 2016.

During the construction of the facility, San Francisco 49ers Season Builders Licenses originally went for between $2,000 and $80,000. Just a few games into the second season at the stadium, there are now more than 3,000 licenses available on the team’s marketplace ranging from $975 to $500,000 each.

The reason? A representative for the team told local KGO-TV that the “re-selling of SBLs is a natural part of the process that all teams with licenses experience. We respect the right of all SBL Members to manage their license as they see fit, including having the opportunity to re-sell them at any time.”

But the station also interviewed fans that were set on selling their SBLs who outlined some very specific reasons for opting out. License holder Tuan Le told the station he paid $12,000 for his seat license plus $2,000 per year for tickets and blamed the heat at the stadium and a dull tailgating experience “Half the stadium, we get beat up by the sun. So if you’re going to watch a game, you want to enjoy, drink a few beers. Here, you drink a few beers, and you get beat up, come home with sunburn, it’s just a bad experience,” Le said.

Ticketing is another point of contention. The 49ers changed its policy this year so fans receive tickets digitally and can’t print them until 72 hours before a game. The team representative explained to KGO that there is no mandate for fans to use Ticketmaster’s Ticket Exchange for the transactions.

“Fans can transfer or re-sell tickets at any time through any secondary ticket platform they’d like and it’s important that they know the 72-hour window only affects when tickets can be printed,” the rep said. But some SBL holders see the restriction as overly burdensome. “We just hope that the 49ers would look at us as having already purchased these tickets and let us do what we want with them, rather than placing all these restrictions on them, to make it suit their needs, and allow them to make the most money possible,” fan Preston Burnes told the station.