NYC’s Sports Market: Nets at High End of Arena Suite Plans

An analysis of the luxury suites market by Sports Business Journal suggests that the Nets' plans for the Barclays' Center in Brooklyn put them at the high end in terms of number of suites and annual cost for facilities planned and under construction in the New York sports market. In addition, the new Devils, Mets, Yankees, Giants, Jets and Red Bulls' arenas/stadiums are all underway, while the Nets are still on the drawing board.

Still, in spite of what some think could be a glut in the coming years, Nets CEO Brett Yormark is optimistic that the team will sell out all 118 suites at an average cost of $275,000 annually with some costing as much as a half-million dollars. Yormark told Sports Business Journal that the team sold 20 suites through a private sale this summer aimed at team sponsors, team investors and other "friends and family of the Nets." The franchise is about to open a suite showroom at owner Bruce Ratner's new New York Times building. The 10,000-square-foot business center will be called the Barclays Suite Showroom, according to SBJ and will be located on the 39th floor of the Times Building in Manhattan, just off of Times Square.

"It’s early, but we decided to open the showroom that will formally kick off the suite sales efforts," Yormark said. "I think there will be enough demand given the [corporate base] in New York."

All told, by the time the Giants’ and Jets’ new $1.7 billion stadium opens in 2010, there will be more than 500 suites in the market’s big league venues, a jump of more than 50 percent, reports SBJ. But only the Giants/Jets' stadium will have more suites than the Barclays' Center and only they and the Mets' new CitiField will top the average price the Nets are believed to be asking...but just barely.

Here is the SBJ summary of what the market looks like now and what it will look like when all the new facilities are completed.

WHAT THEY HAVE NOW:

Continental Airlines Arena (Devils and Nets)
29 suites @ $188,000-$256,000

Giants Stadium (Giants, Jets, Red Bulls)
118 suites @ $119,000-$364,000

Madison Square Garden (Knicks, Rangers)
89 suites @ $225,000-$400,000

Nassau County Coliseum (Islanders)
30 suites @ $135,000-$330,000

Shea Stadium (Mets)
46 suites @ $130,000-$340,000

Yankee Stadium (Yankees)
19 suites @ NA

WHAT THEY'RE BUILDING:

Barclays Center (Nets)
118 suites @ $275,000

Citi Field (Mets)
54 suites @ $300,000-$500,000

New Meadowlands (Giants, Jets)
150 suites @ $275,000-$300,000

New Yankee Stadium (Yankees)
67 suites @ NA

Prudential Center (Devils)
76 suites @ $265,000-$285,000

Red Bull Park (Red Bulls)
53 suites @ $55,000-$105,000

Yormark told Crain's New York Business earlier this summer that the 118 luxury suites will be part of a larger group of suites that include party suites capable of entertaining up to 60 people. All told, Barclays' Center will have 170 suites, compared to 29 at the Continental Airlines Arena.

According to Crain’s, the Barclays' Center, designed by the world-famous architect Frank Gehry, promises to be "an icon in sports". Though the arena’s full design has yet to be revealed--the new design is expected within the coming weeks--and it is not scheduled to be completed for another two seasons, Yormark says he’s already received countless requests for luxury boxes.

"The suites are all about high design and next-generation access," said Yormark, including high-def video, arena-wide Wi-Fi. One big selling point: Gehry will design all 118 suites individually, in his signature style, which features curved walls and odd angles, Crain's reported.

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