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CHARGERS LOOK TO CASH IN ON POST-SEASON SUCCESS
Published July 28, 1995
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).