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Archive for the ‘Venue Information’ Category

New York Yankees COO comes clean

Posted by ZA on March 30, 2009

A lot of executives put off the persona that nothing phases them…they subscribe to the ‘never let them see you sweat’ mantra.  But not New York Yankees COO, Lonn Trost, who will tell you exactly how he really feels.

The Yankees’ Trost had a great quote in the Newark Star-Ledger about how he is feeling coming into the 2009 baseball season.   Trost said, “Most expensive stadium, highest prices and the worst economy in history means I don’t sleep at night.  Everybody in every walk of life is suffering from the economy, and we’re no different“.

One of the most powerful people in one of the most successful sports franchises on the planet isn’t getting a good night’s sleep.  He’s worried about how the Yankees are going to fill up their luxurious, new stadium every night.  I love that Trost is so honest about the Yankees situation, because I’m not sure everyone in his position would be so candid.

Trost is probably right not to be sleeping so well, because the challenge facing the Yankees is a daunting one.  They are opening up the new Yankee Stadium at a time when discretionary spending in New York City is at one of its lowest points this decade.  The financial sector of New York has taken it squarely on the nose during this economic downturn.  The Yankees were obviously counting on selling luxury seats to many of those who were most effected.

With many of those prospects suddenly unable to buy season tickets at new Yankee Stadium, the team was forced to put those tickets on-sale to the public.  The single game ticket on-sale the Yankees offered through Ticketmaster featured scores of seats priced between $350 and $2600.  Imagine the pain the Yankees are feeling selling that $2600.00 Infield Box seat on a game-by-game basis.  The only thing worse would be not selling that seat.  Lonn Trost is a guy who is most feeling that pain.

In the long-run the New York Yankees will be fine.  But the next few seasons, particularly after the hype of this inaugural season in the new ballpark is gone, could be rougher financially than what they’ve experienced recently.  The Yankees are going to face the same challenge other MLB teams have faced for years.  They’ll be forced to watch their spending closely as they try to sell out all of their tickets.

[Assist: Sports Business Daily]

Posted in MLB, Sports Brands, Tickets, Venue Information | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Suites in the new Cowboys Stadium are flawed

Posted by ZA on March 12, 2009

For over two years we’ve been hearing about the unveiling of the grandest stadium in sports, the new home for the Dallas Cowboys (aka: Jerry World).  The story has consistently been the same, that Jerry World will be the finest stadium in professional sports.  Packed with every imaginable amenity to make a Cowboys home game more fun than breakfast in Paris, lunch at Disneyworld with the kids and dinner in Las Vegas.

But now the story is starting to change.  Oh no, not the official story from the Dallas Cowboys.  They all still have smiles on their faces and are saying that sales are going just fine.  They continue to justify that by pointing out that they have 273 out of 300 luxury suites leased.  Nero also played the violin as Rome burned.

The reality is that the luxury suites and other premium areas in the new Cowboys Stadium are beyond what the current marketplace wants to buy.  The economy today is different than two years ago, so the Cowboys need to take some proactive steps to make sure they are adjusting to the changed economy.  Darren Rovell nails this concept in his article about the Cowboys Stadium.

A few interesting tidbits from Rovell’s story:
* There will be people who break their luxury suite leases at the new Cowboys Stadium.
* The Giants, Jets, Mets and Yankees are all dealing with similar issues at their new stadiums.
* Safeco Field converted 8 of their luxury suites into a large area that could be sold to smaller businesses.

Not sure if Jerry Jones is reading CNBC today, but if he does see the article he might consider making some changes now.  Never wrong to admit you overestimated the market.  The Cowboys have already (smartly) started to lower prices on some of the premium PSL’s they offer, so why not change the plan on luxury suites as well.  Doing it now might save millions in dollars down the road.

Posted in NFL, Stadium Construction, Venue Information | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Say goodbye to Texas Stadium

Posted by ZA on February 20, 2009

The Dallas Cowboys played their last game at Texas Stadium in December 2008.  Now it is time for fans to pay their last respects before it is gone forever.  Texas Stadium will be demolished soon to make way for a new development project in Irving, that will include an outlet mall.

But this weekend Irving residents can get a jump on spending before the outlet mall is even built.  The Texas Stadium fanfest will let fans bid on and buy memorable from the stadium.  My favorite line from the DMN article: “The event will feature something many Cowboys fans never thought they’d live to see: free parking and admission.”  I think that jab was aimed directly at Jerry Jones.

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Most expensive tickets in the NFL

Posted by ZA on November 30, 2008

So which teams have the most expensive tickets in the NFL? Below is data for the 2008 NFL season compiled by Team Marketing Report. A few observations before we get into the numbers.

  • Kudos to the Buffalo Bills for having both the lowest average ticket price ($51.24) and lowest Fan Cost Index ($298.96). The Bills are the only team to have a FCI below $300. I hope that change if the Bills start to play more games in Toronto to lure more corporate dollars.
  • The NFL average for ticket price is $72.20 and $396.36 for Fan Cost Index.
  • Expect the Giants, Jets and Cowboys average ticket price to go up dramatically next season once they move into their new stadiums.
  • The Chiefs are absolutely ripping off their loyal fans. Top 10 in league for average ticket price and bottom 5 in league for performance.
  • It’s only 450 miles from Boston, Massachusetts to Buffalo, New York, a relatively short distance between NFL cities. But it will still cost you twice as much to attend a Pats game as it will a Bills game.
  • Patriots fans sure are paying for their team’s success on the field. The Pats average ticket price is 30% higher than the next closest team (Bucs) and their Fan Cost Index is $100 more than the next closest team (Bears). Now I know what Bill Simmons was talking about.
Rank NFL Team Average Ticket Price Fan Cost Index
1 New England Patriots $ 117.84 $ 596.25
2 Tamba Bay Buccaneers $ 90.13 $ 483.02
3 Chicago Bears $ 88.33 $ 484.31
4 New York Giants $ 88.06 $ 480.74
5 New York Jets $ 86.99 $ 476.26
6 Dallas Cowboys $ 84.12 $ 435.49
7 San Diego Chargers $ 81.39 $ 436.06
8 Indianapolis Colts $ 81.13 $ 435.52
9 Kansas City Chiefs $ 80.69 $ 422.72
10 Washington Redskins $ 79.13 $ 441.43
11 Baltimore Ravens $ 77.20 $ 425.81
12 Denver Broncos $ 76.75 $ 400.01
13 Minnesota Vikings $ 73.23 $ 386.92
14 San Francisco 49ers $ 70.55 $ 376.71
15 Cincinnati Bengals $ 69.85 $ 387.91
16 Philadelphia Eagles $ 69.00 $ 383.50
17 St. Louis Rams $ 68.28 $ 387.63
18 Pittsburgh Steelers $ 67.47 $ 384.38
19 Houston Texans $ 66.69 $ 376.75
20 Detroit Lions $ 66.39 $ 383.57
21 Miami Dolphins $ 66.11 $ 368.44
22 Arizona Cardinals $ 65.08 $ 356.31
23 Atlanta Falcons $ 63.95 $ 356.30
24 Green Bay Packers $ 63.39 $ 354.45
25 Carolina Panthers $ 63.32 $ 330.67
26 Oakland Raiders $ 62.23 $ 359.90
27 New Orleans Saints $ 62.22 $ 335.89
28 Seattle Seahawks $ 61.25 $ 364.49
29 Tennessee Titans $ 58.55 $ 347.19
30 Jacksonville Jaguars $ 55.30 $ 302.09
31 Cleveland Browns $ 54.41 $ 323.66
32 Buffalo Bills $ 51.24 $ 298.96

* Average Ticket Price – weighted average of season ticket prices, not including premium seating.
* Fan Cost Index – TMR’s trademarked stat. Price of 4 adults to attend that includes 4 tickets, 2 beers, 4 soft drinks, 4 hot dogs, 2 baseball caps, 2 programs and parking.
* The data is from Team Marketing Report.

Posted in NFL, Sports Marketing, Tickets, Venue Information | 2 Comments »

Telestra Dome to become Etihad Airways Dome

Posted by ZA on October 24, 2008

Australia’s Telestra Dome, the top venue in the country for Australian Rules Football, is going to be rebranded with the name of a top Middle East airline.  On March 1, 2009 the Telestra Dome will change to the Etihad Airways Dome, and the United Arab Emirates airline will also receive in-stadium signage.  Terms for the 5 year deal  were not disclosed.

Posted in Sponsorship Deals, Stadium Signage, Venue Information, Venue Naming Rights | Leave a Comment »

Yankees & Cowboys team up to make Legends

Posted by ZA on October 20, 2008

Two of the most icononic brands in sports are teaming up on a joint venture that could change the sports landscape.  The Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees announced they are launching a stadium concessions company named Legends Hospitality Management.  Goldmach Sachs is a third partner in the venture.

Legends will handle all of the stadium concessions, catering for luxury suites and sales via the team stores for both the new Cowboys stadium and new Yankee Stadium.  Both stadiums are slated to open in 2009.  The goal of Legends will be to offer a higher-level of service than typically provided by stadium concession companies.  Also, I’m sure to make Jerry Jones and the Steinbrenner family more money.  Jones said the purpose of the venture was to affect “the fan experience.”

The Yankees were already the most lucrative concessions contract in American sports, they booked over $70 million in concessions revenue at old Yankee Stadium over the past year.  That number will only increase when they move across the street into a new more luxurious Yankee Stadium packed with more upscale dining options.

Legends will add its name among some of the current big names in stadium concessions, which include: Aramark, Centerplate and Sodexho.

Cowboys & Yankees snack bar opens in 2009

Cowboys & Yankees snack bar opens in 2009

Posted in MLB, NFL, Sports Brands, Stadium Pouring Rights, Venue Information | 2 Comments »

Sports venues: 10 things you might not know

Posted by ZA on October 15, 2008

A few facts about sports venues that you might not know:

1. World’s first fully retractable roof was at the Skydome in Toronto, Canada opens in 1989.
2. First permanent concession stand was built into Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois in 1914.
3. Most expensive arena (not stadium) ever built is the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. It cost $375M and opened in 1999.
4. First PSL’s started by the Carolina Panthers to raise for Ericsson Stadium (now Bank of America Stadium).
5. First sports stadium to include a swimming pool was the Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix, Arizona.  The BOB was also the first retractable roof stadium to have a natural grass surface.
6. First soccer only stadium in USA was the Columbus Crew Stadium in Ohio.
7. A combination artificial turf, sand and rubber called FieldTurf was first installed in Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium in 1999.
8. Oldest big league sports venue is Fenway Park which opened in 1912.
9. First sports venue with an electronic scoreboard is tiny Wingate, Illinois High School field.  They turned on the scoreboard in 1934.
10. Largest domed structure in the World, the Georgia Dome, opens in 1992.

Venue facts from Sports Business Journal.

Posted in Venue Information | Leave a Comment »

Why don’t the Chicago Cubs like Wrigley?

Posted by ZA on September 17, 2008

Twice in the last week pitchers for the Chicago Cubs have been quoted in the media bashing venerable Wrigley Field.  The most recent was pitcher Jason Marquis who was quoted in the Chicago Tribune on his desire for Wrigley to have some modern upgrades.

Marquis said, “If I had a personal choice, I think they should knock down Wrigley and build a replica in the exact same spot to give it that same feel.”

That followed a quote made by pitcher Carlos Zambrano earlier in the week who said “Gosh, I wish we could have a new ballpark.”

I don’t fault the Cubs players for wanting more luxurious digs, but what they need to understand is you cannot replace history.  Wrigley Field is one of the two legendary ballparks for baseball, along with Fenway in Boston.  Tearing down Wrigley is akin to tearing down a national monument.  You wouldn’t tear down the Washington Monument, would you?  Which is why the people of Chicago, baseball purists, and Cubs fans across the country do not want to tear down Wrigley Field.  Folks in Chicago are so loyal to their historic sports venues that they choose to land a spaceship on top of Soldier Field, rather than tear it down and remodel it from scratch.

Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois

Does it look like a spaceship landed on Soldier Field?

It is obviously a difficult situation to decide how to treat Wrigley Field.  Cubs outfielder Jim Edmonds said it best, “Everyone is going to have a different opinion.”  Edmonds went on to say the Cubs players, “…enjoy it, and enjoy the history…of course it’s always nice to have a new place.”

My take is that certain things shouldn’t be upgraded, they are a part of fabric and too important to people.  Wrigley Field is that for baseball and the people of Chicago.  I absolutely think they should find creative ways to upgrade the facility so the team has the amenities that they need, but they should never follow the advice of Marquis to tear it down and rebuild it new.  That may seem like the same place, but it wouldn’t have the soul of Wrigley that carries all of the great history with it. 

It doesn’t matter that the St. Louis Cardinals tore down Busch Stadium or that the New York Yankees are building a new Yankee Stadium, Wrigley Field must stay.  Those new stadiums will be incredible, but every fan who enters them will tell you that you cannot replace the history of the former ballparks.

Winston Churchill said it best, “Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.”  The Cubs should learn from those other teams, and keep Wrigley Field the way it is.

Posted in MLB, New Venues, Stadium Construction, Venue Information | Leave a Comment »

20 Worst Venue Names in U.S.

Posted by ZA on July 22, 2008

With the news that the Chicago Cubs’ owner the Tribune Company just received the first round of bids from potential suitors for venerable Wrigley Field, I thought it would be a good idea to examine what are some of the worst venue names in the United States today.  From the strange names to the downright stupid, we rank the top 20 worst venue names in the U.S.

Top 20 Worst Venue Names in the United States:
20. The Norva
(Norfolk, Virginia)
* Reminds me of a Seinfeld episode, “Mulva!”
19. Crocodile Rock (Allentown, Pennslyvania)
* Don’t ever name your venue after a cheesy Elton John song (ever!).
18. iPayOne Center (San Diego, California)
* Dotcom venue sponsorships often don’t work.
17. Benedum Center (Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania)
* Just sounds boring.
16. Minute Maid Park (Houston, Texas)
* I liked it better when it was Enron FIeld.
15. University of Phoenix Stadium (Glendale, Arizona)
* Online college has nothing to do with City of Phoenix.
14. Petco Park (San Diego, California)
* Goofy name, but it keeps growing on me.
13. Mellon Arena (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
* Not named for Thornton Melon.
12. Whataburger Field (Corpus Christi, Texas)
* Great burgers, weird name for a stadium.
11. Littlejohn Coliseum (Clemson, South Carolina)
* Venues shouldn’t be named after Robin Hood characters.
10. Quicken Loans Arena (Cleveland, Ohio)
* Corporate naming rights gone wrong.
9. Papa Johns Stadium (Louisville, Kentucky)
* Fast food companies after second worst after dotcom companies.
8. Taco Bell Arena (Boise, Idaho)
* I wonder how often they play the “Doooooooooooooong”?
7. Energy Solutions Center (Salt Lake City, Utah)
* They could jazz up the place with a great nickname like the Power Palace.
6. Dunkin Donuts Center (Providence, Rhode Island)
* Time to make the donuts.
5. Center (Dallas, Texas)
* Drop the .com and it goes from horrible to just plain bad.
4. Glass Bowl Stadium (Toledo, Ohio)
* The best of the worst, my favorite bad name venue.
3. Amway Center (Orlando, Florida)
* For every ticket you buy, you have to sell 6 more to friends.
2. Bagley Field at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium (Greenville, South Carolina)
* The Fick rocks!  I’m sure they were all great people, but the combination is horrendous.
1. Arena (Glendale, Arizona)
* The worst possible dotcom name they could put on a venue.

Posted in Venue Information, Venue Naming Rights | 6 Comments »

USC will change name of Colonial Center

Posted by ZA on July 22, 2008

The University of South Carolina’s arena sponsor has changed their name as part of a corporate re-branding, therefore the name of USC’s multipurpose facility will change as well.  The Colonial Center will change its name to the Colonial Life Arena, to mimic the change to Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company of their benefactor.  In 2003 Colonial Life agreed to pay $5.5 million dollars over 12 years for the naming rights to the University arena.

The change is not official yet, but it is expected to be approved by the South Carolina Board of Trustees who prefer the Colonial Life Arena name more than Colonial Center.

The Colonial Life Arena opened in November 2002 under the name Carolina Center.  Its primary tenants are the University of South Carolina Gamecocks’ men’s and women’s basketball teams.  It also hosted the Columbia Stingers, a professional indoor football team, for one season before they folded.  It cost approximately $64 million to build and has seating for 18,000 fans.

Posted in Venue Information, Venue Naming Rights | 2 Comments »