There are two main ways to get a luxury suite, explains Scott Spencer, president of Suite Experience Group. The first is to lease one, which is a considerable commitment of time and money. “On the extreme side, the Dallas Cowboys require a 20-year lease agreement for those who want to become suiteholders. The New York Yankees and Madison Square Garden don’t require as long a commitment, but they have some of the steepest prices in the industry — some suites at Yankee Stadium go for over $800,000 per year and the very best suites at Madison Square garden will set you back over $1 million a year.” Suite owners then have access to all events at the stadium, including concerts.
Method two is to use a service such as the aforementioned Suite Experience Group, which provides access to suites on a game-by-game basis. As the following slides will show, prices for those single-event suite experiences can be quite steep indeed. According to Spencer, those prices are set depending on factors such as strength of opponent, day of week (weeknights are in demand for entertaining corporate clients), and location of the suite within the stadium.
The average football game suite sells for between $15,000-$25,000, depending on the venue, says Spencer, with New York the most expensive market (often much higher than $25,000 per game). For suites at baseball games, the average is $4,000 (but in the New York market: $13,000+ per game). Suites for pro basketball and football also tend to be in the $3,000-$5,000 range for an average game.
So what kind of treatment comes with these prices? “The ‘first class’ experience starts before you even enter the stadium,” says Spencer. “Suites come with premium parking passes that allow you to park right next to the stadium. Most venues have dedicated entrances exclusively for suite ticket holders so they don’t have to battle the crowds often found at the general entrance. At Cowboys Stadium, the very best suites grant the owner a parking pass that allows them to park underneath the stadium along with the players; from there, they can ride an elevator directly up to their suite. These suites can sell for as much as $35,000 for a Cowboys game against a top-notch opponent.”
The food and beverages on offer can be a step up from the stadium fare, such as sushi at Staples Center, and some newer stadiums have exclusive clubs where suite-dwellers can mingle with each other.
The following are the most expensive of the exclusive events, as named by Scott Spencer based on his company’s deals and industry knowledge, starting with number 8 and counting down to the most expensive event.
By Colleen Kane
Posted 3 May 2012
Location: TD Garden, Boston
The Boston Bruins battled the Vancouver Canucks in the 2011 National Hockey League Stanley Cup Finals, during which time some superfan or fans paid $25,000 for a luxury box at the Boston TD Garden. The venue offers executive suites, garden views, and executive views, with amenities including early admission, private restrooms and entrances, and in-suite catering.
Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas
The National Basketball Association finals were played at American Airlines Center in Dallas, home of the Mavericks, and American Airlines Arena in Miami, home of the Heat. But it was a luxury box in Dallas that brought in the most bucks. The Dallas arena’s luxury boxes come with private entrances and parking spaces in a Platinum Parking Garage, and food and beverage packages as well as access to exclusive areas of Platinum Level restaurants and bars.
Location: Busch Stadium, St. Louis
The 2011 World Series was held at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and Busch Stadium in St. Louis, but it was for a game at Busch where some enthusiastic fan or fans forked over $35,000 for a luxury suite. Options thereinclude Party Suites and the Redbird Roost Owners’ Suite, the latter accommodating 30 with burgers, dogs, brats and nachos prepared on site, beer on tap and a private restroom.
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans
The most recent college men’s basketball finals were held in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, which here makes its first of two entries on this list for a suite going for $55,000. Although not included in the luxury box prices, the Superdome’s suites serve food with Louisiana flair such as gumbo, red beans and rice, and jambalaya.
Location: USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Queens, N.Y.
“One hundred suites are sold out for every day of the U.S. Open,” Spencer says, calling the demand for the event “really amazing.” The first-week prices for the U.S. Open start at $15,000, according to a representative from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, so the $60,000 citied above is not the norm throughout the U.S. Open.
Location: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway offers several suite levels, which include the Hulman Terrace Suites, Turn 2 VIP Suites, Gasoline Alley Suites and the Tower Terrace Suites (pictured here). The Tower Terrace Suites are located inside the oval and have two private restrooms, 80 stadium-style seats, along with 20 parking passes, and numerous other provisions, but do not include food and beverages. The normal price for Tower Terrace suites is $110,000 per three-event season, with a three-year lease.
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans
The rivalry between LSU and Alabama is one of the most notorious in college football and in all of sports. Without a doubt, the longtime foes playing each other for the title was a major factor driving up the price for a luxury box at this year’s Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game in New Orleans.
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind.
“For events like the Super Bowl, [luxury suites] are extremely hard to get, and the prices reflect that,” says Scott Spencer. And one suite reflected that to the tune of half a million dollars in the case of this year’s Super Bowl. All 137 of the luxury suites at the stadium, which include 12 super suites and eight field suites (which are 10 feet from the end zone), were sold out months before the event.