The Raiders and the city of Oakland and Alameda County officials have agreed to end the Personal Seat License concept, according to published reports Nov. 2, 2005.
The PSL plan, which began in Oakland in 1995, allowed PSL holders the right to buy Raiders season tickets through the 2005 season. In 1995, the cost of a PSL ranged from $250 to $4,000. For the 2005 season, the cost of a 10-game season ticket ranged from $470 to $910. There's also an annual maintenance fee of $70 per ticket.
Under the original PSL agreement, PSLs were scheduled to be re-sold at 75 percent of their original cost over the final five seasons (2006-2010) of the team's lease in Oakland.
In the latest chapter between the Raiders and their Alameda County landlord, the sides agreed to drop long-standing lawsuits and to terminate the PSL plan — considered one of the main reasons the NFL franchise has failed to sell out home games since its return from Los Angeles in 1995.
"It's a new beginning," Raiders managing general partner Al Davis (right) told reporters at a news conference at McAfee Coliseum on Nov. 2. "Now the past is past, we have five years to do enough to see if we can make the Raiders economically viable."
The new agreement eliminates the county-run Oakland Football Marketing Association, which reportedly alienated many fans because of poor service, and allows the team to handle ticket sales, starting in 2006.
"We decided to eliminate PSLs and turn ticket sales over to the Raiders," Oakland City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente told reporters at the aforementioned news conference. "We admit that things didn't work out the way they were planned. But instead of fighting, we're going to work together and move forward."
The Raiders' Davis said: "We think we can do a better job. We look forward to doing this ourselves. We want to do it right. It wasn't done right. It had alienated lots of fans."
Officials hope the new deal will be a boost to attendance and help the city and county to repay the $200 million cost of renovating the Oakland Coliseum (now known as McAfee Coliseum). The municipalities reportedly still must pay off $180 million of the renovation cost.
Since the Raiders returned to Oakland in 1995, 56 of their 84 regular-season home games have been blacked out in the Bay Area. An NFL game is blacked out unless it is sold out 72 hours before kickoff. The Raiders reportedly have approximately 29,000 season tickets for the 2005 season, and only 12,000 current Personal Seat License holders.
"I came here (in 1995) with the idea that there would be euphoria, and then we get into a fight, a war," Davis said. "I regret what happened, not necessarily that we came back."
The new deal does not affect a Sacramento jury's $34 million judgment against the city and county in 2003 after finding Oakland Coliseum officials misled the team in negotiations for its return to Oakland. The city and county reportedly have filed appeals to avoid paying the judgment.