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SUITE SALES MOVING SLOW AT REBUILT COLISEUM IN SEATTLE
Published April 12, 1995
The SuperSonics are having difficulty selling luxury boxes in the rebuilt Coliseum, according to the SEATTLE TIMES. Sales of the suites were to be completed in January and precede the sale of club seats, "both of which are key components to payment of the $73.4 million city-financed upgrade." Currently, 40 of 58 suites have been sold, 10 of them "to companies belonging to Ackerley Communications," owner of the Sonics. Terry McLaughlin, Deputy Dir of the Seattle Center, said he is counting on the sale of club seats and revenue from other sources to help pay for the project, but the suites were "projected to pay for the largest chunk of the arena's debt service." Despite the Sonics' successful season, enthusiasm for luxury boxes has been slow as some "prospective buyers have backed out of their reservations and others have merged with other buyers to share luxury suites, which go for an average of $92,000." To stimulate sales, Full House Sports & Entertainment, the Ackerley subsidiary selling the suites, has created a "virtual-reality presentation that simulates the view from every suite," and the city allowed Ackerley to lease suites for "as brief as three years" -- not the original seven or nine year commitments (Tom Farrey, SEATTLE TIMES, 4/11). ACKERLEY ANNOUNCES RECORD 1STQ EARNINGS: Ackerley Communications, Inc. announced their financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 1995. These included record 1st quarter sales, first ever first quarter income before dispositions, first cash dividend in the company's history and a successful restructuring of the company's bank debt. Sales for the 1st quarter were $63.3M, up $9.8M or 18.2% from $53.5M a year earlier. Ackerley CEO Barry Ackerley: "The first quarter of 1995 was the best in our company's history, and we see nothing ahead to indicate that the entire year will not be the same" (Ackerley).