Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Stadium Porn - San Jose "Could" Have the Best Seats in MLS



"Ok. You guys both see that women waving in the black top over there? Wow." said the ref.
The San Jose Earthquakes are still a ways off from getting final approval for a soccer-specific stadium, but as they continue to push for it more and more details are coming out about its proposed design.

Just like LIVESTRONG Sporting Park raised the bar (haha... no FBM pun intended) last June and the sexy, new Houston Dynamo stadium will debut next May, the Earthquakes stadium may have the coolest idea yet when it comes to soccer stadium innovation; field-level luxury suites.

Sure the NBA has got court-side, but the only amenity for paying loads more than the proletariat is being close to the action and a few extra inches on the seat pad.

Hey! Down in front! Don't you know how much I paid for these seats?
San Jose's design puts 12 luxury boxes at game level and what you get is beyond anything the 10-foot, round-ball league as to offer for its A-listers.

From the Silicon Vallet Mercury News story:
Unlike that courtside seating, however, these amenities will include 24-inch padded seats, couches, cocktail tables, flat-screen televisions, a bar area, catered food and a sliding-glass door that just might stop the soccer ball before it knocks over your martini. As Kaval put it, "you'll have to be on your toes."
The price for the up-close and personal vantage point: $350,000 for a five-year contract. Despite the cost, Kaval maintains it's competitive with other luxury suites in professional hockey and football leagues, considering the number of events that will be held in the stadium. Each suite accommodates 23 people. 
Now, of course, we're all about making the game-day experience as authentic as possible by supporting supporters groups and the like and shying away from fake-fan and overly family-friendly, but stadiums and teams have got to make money. Soccer still needs its sugar daddies and luxury suites are the avenue.The difference in SJ is that by putting these boxes down in the action you really are appealing to people that are to see the game and not hide it their boxes (hopefully).

Here's to innovative ideas in the soccer stadium and marketing world. We've come along way from Crew Stadium.

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5 comments:

  1. People in luxury boxes are often there because they got comp tickets, not because they love the game, if the box is filled at all. I don't like this idea at all. The front row should be for people who can't stand to be further away from their team.

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  2. See.. I don't necessarily see it that way. Soccer is still so niche that most people that occupy the luxury boxes happen to actually be soccer fans. Of course there's the worry that as the sport goes it will go the way of NFL, NBA, MLB boxes, but I doubt that many non or casual wealthy fans would shell out $350,000 for soccer if they weren't passionate about it.

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  3. I agree with the first comment. Having the luxury boxes right up against the pitch is a terrible idea. Have you ever sat in a luxury box? Most people are there for the party and are not into the game at all. The view on TV will not be those of passionate fans at all, but instead a combo of those barely interested and those somewhat interested.

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  4. Thought I'd point out that the Sounders already have field-level luxury boxes.

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  5. Anon. - They do? Interesting. Obviously Seattle has pretty amazing soccer atmosphere, but (if you return to this article) how do these seats contribute... positively or negatively? Do you feel the fans in the boxes are "true" soccer fans?

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"Anyone who tells me soccer is boring, I'm going to punch them in the face."
- Former Dallas Burn (aka FC Dallas) coach Dave Dir

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