Many unhappy San Francisco 49ers fans selling season ticket licenses

Tuesday, September 29, 2015
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Thousands of 49ers season ticket licenses are available to purchase since many Faithful fans are not enjoying the game day experience.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- If you were hoping to get your hands on a San Francisco 49ers Season Builders License, or SBL, you're in luck. Thousands are now available, but re-sellers say it has nothing to do with the team's current record. Still, a growing number of fans are very dissatisfied.

Just three games into the season, some of the 49ers Faithful are already having second thoughts.

"I'm here to support the home team, but it seems like they're not helping us, and they're making it worse for us," San Jose resident Tuan Le said.

Le and his friends bought seat licenses at $12,000 apiece, plus $2,000 per year for the actual tickets. Now, they want out, blaming the heat and a lack-luster 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.

License holder Preston Burnes of San Francisco agrees, saying something isn't right about Levi's Stadium.

"Even if they're losing, what we still would be looking for is a fun game day experience, an opportunity to get together, to share a tailgate, to enjoy some football, and that hasn't really been what we found this season, or even last season," Burnes said.

The 49ers changed their ticket policy this year, opting for digital delivery, rather than hard tickets. License holders say they can't print the tickets until 72 hours before the game, making them harder to re-sell.

"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," Burnes said.

More than 3,000 licenses are currently for sale on the official marketplace. Team officials say the re-selling of licenses is a natural part of the ticketing process, and that the overwhelming majority of ticket holders actually support e-ticketing, saying it helps reduce the potential for fraud.

Le is hoping for a compromise. He told us, "If they give us the hard tickets, I might think about keeping the seats, cause I could sell it, and make my money back to break even or make a little money."

The fans we spoke to would now rather watch the game at home or at a bar.

Here are the 49ers' responses to our questions:

Have you seen more of an increase this year in people putting up their SBLs/seat licenses for sale?

This is just the second year of the venue so there are no reasonable comparisons to make at this time. We have an official SBL re-sale website accessible from that is the best and most-reliable resource for individuals looking to buy or sell an SBL.

What are some of the factors that you think are contributing to people reselling their licenses, so soon after the stadium opened?

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.

What has the feedback been from fans regarding the mandatory use of the ticket exchange?

There is no mandate - from the 49ers or the NFL - for fans to use TicketMaster's TicketExchange to re-sell their tickets for 49ers games. We appreciate the right for all ticket holders to re-sell their tickets on whichever secondary ticket platform they'd like, a fact supported by the quantities of 49ers tickets currently available for re-sell on any one of those websites. It is just important to us that fans are fully aware of the risks that come with choosing unauthorized secondary market sources while bypassing the NFL-backed security ensured for TicketExchange customers.

Does the 49ers have any plans to reconsider its policy for the mandatory use of the ticket exchange, and its no-hard ticket policy? (Fans are upset that they aren't given access to tickets until 72 hrs. prior to the game).

The 49ers organization spends a considerable amount of time talking directly with our season ticket holders to know what is important to them and we study massive amounts of ticket usage data in an effort to provide them better service. An overwhelming majority of our ticket holders support e-ticketing and have reported that the new policies have not negatively affected the way they manage their tickets. Last year about two-thirds of our members waited until 72 hours prior to each game to print, sell, or transfer tickets or parking. Even now, all 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. In addition to simplifying the process required to manage tickets, reducing the potential for fraud or duplicated tickets being sold to innocent buyers is the greatest benefit of e-ticketing. The 49ers have taken these measures to protect our ticket buyers and we know that other teams will be following our lead in this area.

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