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NY Jets Scale Back On PSL Auction: Sign Of Economic Times?

The New York Jets are either feeling the effects of the economy or tried to sell their Coaches Club personal seat licenses too quickly.

The team confirmed on its web site that the final elite seats in their new stadium scheduled to open in 2010 will be auctioned from today and will close on Monday and that the team “does not expect to sell all of the Coaches Club seats by the end of the auction.”

All previous other advertising and communication had said that all 2,000 seats would be sold by the auction process.

The team was counting on selling the licenses to these seats for an average of more than $25,000 apiece. On the first day, it appeared like that number was surpassed, but on the next day, when we monitored every auction, the average price was $19,534.

That’s when we suggested that, if this trend continued, the Jets might have to reconsider the pricing of the PSL’s for the seats across from the Coaches Club , which they had set at a flat $25,000.

Despite the fact that the auction was in a public forum—and could easily be monitored—the Jets were obviously sensitive to the closing prices. Every day, the team just sent out the top selling PSL’s of the day and of the entire auction and would not comment on the averages.

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It’s not clear how many auctions or total seats the Jets left on the table, but a web site that was dedicated just to the auction reported that they believe that, if the team were to sell all 2,000 seats in the auction, there would be about 450 more auctions to take place. I actually think that number is a little bit lower that that.

It is not known when the other seats will be auctioned or how they will be sold. It is expected that, due to the announcement, the final 19 auctions will see a jump. The Jets didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment.

Update: "Since this is uncharted territory, we're learning as we go," a Jets spokesman said in a statement. "What's become clear is that it's not feasible to sell so many seats in a nine-day auction. I can't say for sure how many we will ultimately sell through this auction, but we do not anticipate selling all of them."

Another Update: A source with knowledge of the auction tells CNBC that the average PSL sale price so far has been "in the mid-20's" and that the seats in Section 113 (around the 50-yard line) averaged about $30,000.

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com

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