FanDuel - WFBC

February 17, 2007

So long to the Suite Life --: A shift in corporate schmoozing has stadiums ripping out skyboxes. What it means for the business of sports. Read it today, as it may not be free tomorrow.

posted by Ufez Jones to general at 01:41 PM - 14 comments

Read that this morning, and I thought golly, the planners of those newer stadiums must not have much vision if, just a few years into it, they're already tearing apart large chunks of the stadium. I'm thinking you, Milwaukee. Speaking of Milwaukee, that Brewers club image kinda misses the point, what with most the seating at the "bar" forcing people to sit with their backs to the game. I could understand it if it were for the kids, but kids shouldn't be in barstools anyway. Maybe I'll have a more positive post tomorrow. ;-)

posted by diastematic at 02:09 PM on February 17

It appears that the attractiveness of luxury suites is in inverse proportion to the availability of tickets at any given venue. Note that Fenway Park has a high demand for luxury suites, while in Milwaukee they are being done away with. The business value of a luxury box seat lessens considerably when you can get a couple of field box seats for visiting clients on the day of a game. How often does the luxury box holder entertain clients? I would doubt he has the 'high rollers' in there for every game. The company I work for has a luxury box at the local minor (independent) league park. It is used mostly for rewarding employees for any outstanding performance. As such, it is a useful tool. Employees may also 'buy' the box for a game if they want to have their own game party. I wouldn't be too quick to run down the stadium planners. Rather, I would suggest that the owners of clubs in a situation such as Milwaukee's have to do a lot better job of boosting attendance before planning revenues around luxury boxes. Thoughtful post, Ufez. I hope it generates a great deal of discussion.

posted by Howard_T at 04:14 PM on February 17

Milwaukee was ranked 17th in the majors in attendence last year so there were 13 teams worse than them so they are not too bad of a job. It will be even higher this year because the brewers are going to win more and make the playoffs, barring any major injuries such as to ben sheets.

posted by i-am-bored at 08:24 PM on February 17

That's an awfully bold claim, bored:)

posted by Drood at 09:16 PM on February 17

the brewers are going to win more and make the playoffs, barring any major injuries such as to ben sheets. Damn, that statement woke me from a sound sleep. Well, it's not like you have to worry about Sheets getting hurt, right? I mean, that guy's a friggin' rock, right? Right?

posted by The_Black_Hand at 10:14 AM on February 18

The only brewers that win in Milwaukee are the beer companies, im sure sales are high since wins are lowwwww... But hey, new season brings new hopes

posted by nymetsfan at 11:25 AM on February 18

Seems more like seats are worth more than luxury boxes in some cities. Especially for baseball, this isn't surprising. In football it makes a difference because the gate split is only 60/40 and luxury boxes aren't treated as part of ticket sales. I wonder if this is happening across the country due to lobbying rule changes or if it's more of a small-market thing.

posted by yerfatma at 02:26 PM on February 18

Very interesting trend, I'll echo diastematic's comment that the planners sure did have a lack of foresight. When teams were insisting years ago they needed new stadiums it was precisely because they needed luxury suites to compete. Also interesting how much play Seattle is getting, considering Safeco continues to outperform the team itself and the Sonics just decided that if a new arena is built it will not be in Seattle but Renton, a few minutes to the south.

posted by vito90 at 03:05 PM on February 18

"Seems more like seats are worth more than luxury boxes in some cities. Especially for baseball, this isn't surprising. In football it makes a difference because the gate split is only 60/40 and luxury boxes aren't treated as part of ticket sales. I wonder if this is happening across the country due to lobbying rule changes or if it's more of a small-market thing. posted by yerfatma at 2:26 PM CST on February 18" True to form, Congress members have figured out a way around the new lobbying restictions. The favorite ploy is that lobbyists pay a PAC that the Congress member control buku bucks. The PAC then "buys" the Congress member's ticket. The lobbyist get the private face time, the Congress member stays within the "letter" of the new law, and you and I pack a lunch box and punch a time card like we did before the new law, uh, that is until our jobs get sent abroad to countries with cheaper labor. Isn't democracy great? And better yet, it does not matter whether it is Democratic or Republican democracy. Hoorah!!

posted by Cave_Man at 07:44 PM on February 18

Plus all the money saved on not leasing suites can now go to pay off the CEO's severance packages of $100 - 200 million for doing such wonderful work during their 6 months - 1 year tenure of operational losses and plunging stock prices.

posted by jaygolf at 08:21 PM on February 18

...the Sonics just decided that if a new arena is built it will not be in Seattle but Renton, a few minutes to the south. Renton is a very likely location. There's lots of land available at the half-used (if even that much) Boeing plant to the south of Lake Washington. Also, the highway access from all directions is much better than Key Arena near the Space Needle. Parking will be a lot easier too. The only problem with Renton is that there's no nearby place to go pre- or post-game, so chances are you'll wind up going back into Seattle anyway for drinks or dinner.

posted by Howard_T at 03:45 PM on February 19

In my opinion, the real fans such as the shirtless maniacs in sub-zero weather, and the high school and college kids that are die-hard fans are the ones that should get the best seating available. I dont think that the people with the most money should be the ones that get the side-line seats or whatever the best seating is.

posted by bclkng10 at 06:22 AM on February 20

You are also in favor of ice cream and ponies for the little kids, I suppose?

posted by yerfatma at 09:36 AM on February 20

Looks like there's more money to be made in club seats with season ticket agreements.

posted by yerfatma at 01:53 PM on February 21

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