SBD/28/Franchises

CHARGERS LOOK TO CASH IN ON POST-SEASON SUCCESS

     The Chargers appear ready to translate their appearance in
Super Bowl XXIX into front office success.  The team's season-
ticket base sits at an all-time high of 55,000 -- an increase of
13,000 from the beginning of the '94 post-season -- and their 79
skybox suites are essentially sold-out due to an aggressive
marketing strategy.
     SUITE SALES UP:  The city of San Diego owns Jack Murphy
Stadium, but the Chargers control the master lease on the
skyboxes and are responsible for the year-round leasing and
management of the skyboxes.  Under this deal, the Padres receive
revenue from stadium signage.  Two years ago, suite occupancy for
the Chargers hovered around 50%, but the team's success and new
marketing techniques have led to a virtual full house, according
to Ted Sprink, Chargers Dir of Executive Sales.  Sprink, who
handles the year-round leasing and management of the suites at
Jack Murphy, told THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY of the challenges
selling to the San Diego market.  Sprink: "We don't have a strong
Fortune 500 presence here and San Diego has always been known as
a branch town.  So, only a fairly narrow segment of the business
community candidates to fully utilize the boxes."
     THREE CATEGORIES:  Sprink said the team took the economic
realities into consideration by placing the 79 suites into "three
different products for three different buyers."  One was the
annual lease which runs from $30,000 to the mid $50,000's.
Sprink said most of their skyboxes are leased on a annual basis,
but the club also has leased suites on a single-event basis,
primarily through Chargers games.  Sprink:  "A company that just
doesn't have the entertainment needs or budget for a full-season
skybox, can get all the amenities for a single event. ... It is a
different market.  It is a higher margin deal for the club as
well."  For single-event suites this year, prices run from $3,275
per game for a small box to $6,000 for large boxes.  The third
category is suite-sharing, essentially a time share, where fans
can buy a couple of tickets or a small company can buy four or
six tickets.  That cost is $2,750 per season, or a ten-game
package for $275 per game.  Sprink said San Diego's warm weather
climate creates less of a need for skyboxes, putting more
emphasis on the need for alternatives and aggressive marketing
(THE DAILY).
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