Fans Get Premium Treatment at New Arena
NBA basketball is about to hit new levels in the Queen City as the Charlotte Bobcats roll out a host of premium seating options in their new arena unlike anything Charlotte hoops fans have ever seen in this city.
“We have created a premium seating menu that not only is unique to this market, but is more expansive than any other facility in the country,” said Tom Ward, the team’s executive vice president of business operations.
The new state-of-art arena, slated to open in 2005 for the Bobcats second season, will feature premium seating choices created specifically for those who want to watch the games in luxury and style. The premium seating options, called Royal Boxes, Ledge Seats and Terrace Tables, are not only located on the Founder’s Level, just 29 rows from the basketball court, but are new to the Charlotte market.
“With these choices, we think we are providing an alternative for those who want the benefits and amenities of premium seats but don’t necessarily require the full offerings of a suite,” Ward said.
In the heart of the action and with a seating bowl specially designed to create an intimate atmosphere, premium seat holders will feel like they’re just steps away from the on-court action.
These ticket holders will gain membership privileges to the private NBA club restaurant and lounge, which they can visit before, during and after arena events. A concierge will be on hand during games to assist premium seat holders, and game programs and statistics will be delivered to each seat. Also, they will have access to fully equipped business centers, complete with fax machines, phone messaging services and teleconferencing capabilities.
Along with the exclusive privileges in the premium seat area, purchasers receive multiple ticket discounts and offers. Some of the benefits include first option to buy premium seat tickets for most other arena events, advance opportunity to purchase additional single-game tickets to games and other arena events, discounts at souvenir stands and the new arena’s team store, and the chance to rub elbows with Bobcats players at an invitation-only party.
Boxes offer Royal treatment
Closest to the action among all the premium seating choices, Royal Boxes are opera-styled boxes within the new arena, with a private, open-air design to accommodate four, six or eight people. The 37 boxes include table-top seating, allowing fans to dine or conduct business while watching the games, and one complimentary parking pass for every four seats in their box.
Food and drink are served by Royal Box wait staff, and Royal Box holders have membership privileges to the private club restaurant and lounge, which they can visit before, during and after events.
Each box is equipped with a flat-screen television monitor so spectators can get a close view of instant replays or catch scores from other NBA games.
Prices range from $50,000 annually for four-seat Royal Boxes to $80,000 annually for an eight-seat full-court Royal view.
As an added perk, buyers who agree to a seven- or nine-year Royal Box lease will receive half the number of their box seats free for the NBA All-Star Game if the NBA awards the game to Charlotte. Royal Box holders with nine-year leases also will get complementary Bobcats playoff tickets for each seat in their box.
Perch on a courtside Ledge
Ledge Seats are the “all-inclusive” entertainment package for Bobcats fans, combining great seats with sharp views from the end of the court and fine dining.
Ledge Seat packages contain a dinner table for four overlooking the court, food and drink with the exception of alcohol, and one complimentary parking pass. The seats are in the middle of the action, but flow into the upscale, 300-seat Arena Club restaurant where guests are invited to the Chef’s Table buffet or served at their seats.
Thirty Ledge Seat packages are available in four rows, starting from $37,500 to $45,000 per year.
Step out to Terrace Tables
Right above the Royal Boxes, next to the Founders Suites, a row of Terrace Tables offer another intimate option for watching the Bobcats with clients and associates.
Terrace Tables seat four or six people with direct views from center court to the arena’s corners. Flat-screen television monitors at each table have been designed for easy viewing of instant replays and close-ups of the on-court action. Wait service and one free parking pass is provided for each Terrace Table.
Terrace Tables range from $35,000 (four-seat corner table) to $50,000 annually (six-seat, full court table).
Try a seat on for size
For potential buyers who can’t quite envision the premium seating options, the Bobcats are opening a marketing center with actual-size models of a Suite and Royal Box.
“The idea is to show a suite and premium seating options exactly as they will exist in the new arena so people don’t have to use their imaginations or wonder what it will be like,” says Barry Silberman, executive vice president of arena development, operations and entertainment for the Charlotte Bobcats.
It’s a strategy other NBA teams have found helps people understand what they’re getting, Silberman said.
The Marketing Center will be located at the Hearst Tower in the heart of uptown. The Bobcats showroom will include a hardwood basketball court, a regulation goal, concessions and plenty of high-energy NBA ambiance. Call 704-BOBCATS to schedule an appointment and take a test drive of the new marketing center.