In Divorce, How Are Season Tickets For Sporting Events Divided?

With Super Bowl weekend upon us, the subject of “Season Tickets and Divorce” is a topic of discussion.  While some may think this is a trivial point, the arguments over who ends up getting the family’s season tickets after divorce can be a serious matter.   Obviously, the price of tickets is costly.  But equally important, a couple that owns season tickets to a sporting event or venue often have a strong attachment to their team.  What happens to this property should be a careful consideration of anyone going through a divorce.

There are various kinds of season tickets that involve different types of contracts between the ticket holder and the team. Basically, there are two kinds of season tickets: Permanent Seat License (also called PSL) and Non-Permanent Seat License (or Non-PSL) tickets. Teams like the Chicago Bears
have both PSL and non-PSL tickets, while others have only one type.

Permanent Seat Licenses are purchased in exchange for a one-time fee.  They give the license holder permanent control of the rights to buy season tickets for a specific seat or seats. The current season ticket holder has the right to transfer or sell the PSL.  For example, the Bears request that if a current holder wants to sell their license directly to someone else, that he or she should do so through the Bears PSL Marketplace.  In general, if a seat license holder decides not to sell their seat license (or licenses) and they do not renew their season tickets, then the holder forfeits the license back to the team. 

Non-PSL tickets do not require a license fee and are non-transferrable.   Using the example of the Bears again, fans must join the Chicago Bears Season Ticket Priority List to obtain future tickets as they become available.  This requires paying the Bears a nonrefundable deposit of $100 per seat.  When the fan receives tickets, the $100 fee will be applied to the first-year purchase price of the tickets.

If you are an avid sports fan–and Chicago is one of the top sports markets in the country–you definitely might want to know about the types and availability of season tickets. The Chicago Bears offer both PSL and non-PSL season tickets. The Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Blackhawks do not provide PSL holdings, but season ticket holders may renew their tickets each year.  The Sox also permit fans to add a second name as a ticket holder; however, succession of tickets cannot occur.

No matter what kind of season tickets you buy or own, it is important to read the contract to understand your legal rights. It is especially important to understand how the succession of these “assets” works should you be thinking about divorce.  If you have any questions concerning changes in your marital status and your tickets, please contact us.