In short: no. To expand: HELL NO!
Here’s the basic premise: it attracts high end clients. Premium food, premium seats, premium entertainment value, with a bit more privacy. BULLSHIT, BULLSHIT, BULLSHIT. It’s a waste for everyone!
The majority of suites are owned by the very rich, or by corporations. The most common sales pitch is that it’s a great place to get business done. Although, more often, tickets are used as rewards or as gifts for employees or business partners. The best solution is to get rid of the seats completely, and replace them with this:
- Premium food: Attach a high end restaurant to the arena, have it located somewhere near the concourse. Or just have a concourse level just for high end food. People who come to enjoy the game, are not there for a full course meal. Those who need the fancy meal, can go enjoy it quietly, away from the action. Put up some massive TV’s, and they won’t miss a thing, if they really care. This still allows for business meetings to be conducted, without the loud crowd as a distraction.
- Premium seats: The luxury suites are generally between the 1st and 2nd level. Obviously, with those gone, there’s room for more regular seats. However, the layout in general would be different. Some more seats can be added to both levels. So, when companies give tickets as rewards to employees or partner, the people who do go are probably real fans that want to go see the game. So they’ll get a good seat at the game.
- Premium entertainment: Seriously, what’s better: watching a game in a private box, with a security guard on one side, and glass on the other side like a caged animal – OR – watching a game with the die-hards, the people who really care. Of course it’s better to watch with the crowd. You actually feel like a part of something, you feel like you belong.
Owner’s will complain about lost revenues. They are wrong!
- High end restaurants will bring in money from the people who go to the games but don’t really care, in addition to some people that will want to try it out anyway.
- The seats added to replace the seats will make room for more people than the suites allow. More people equals ticket revenues, merchandise revenues, and concession revenues.
- You don’t need security for every luxury box. You don’t need an attendant. You don’t need a bartender. In general, you need less people. A restaurant, or several restaurants, need less people to make them run than 30+ individual boxes.
Think about the on-ice product. Don’t owners want a building as loud as possible? The WFC has worse acoustics than the Spectrum. Adding a few thousand pairs of lungs sure would make it a bit better.
I’m sure there are more reasons to ditch the suites. Whatever they may be, I say get rid of the overprice accommodations, and let more real fans get a chance to see their team in action.
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