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IS A SUITE DEAL TIED INTO JORDAN AND PIPPEN STAYING UNITED?
Published April 28, 1998
Last Friday was the "final date" for early renewal of more than 200 suites at the United Center which would "take advantage of an estimated $15,000 discount," according to Sam Smith of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Early renewal means a suite at mid-level, near center-court, would cost $184,000 per year starting for the '99 season. The cost would be increased to $202,000 per year if not renewed until after April 22. But there has "been some concern expressed among suite-holders" over the quality of the product they would be paying for, especially if Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen leave the Bulls. Smith writes that suite-holders would be more willing to renew if they were guaranteed they would be seeing Jordan's final year and "that's why many ... are waiting to see what happens." Smith: "The Bulls say they have had excellent response and even a majority of renewals, but several suite-holders contacted say they know of few suite-holders who already have renewed." One corporate exec: "We want to see who's going to be on the team." Smith writes, "That's why there could be consideration of offering Jordan and Pippen two-year contracts. That would guarantee both would be with the Bulls in the 1999-2000 season, which would be the first in the new lease period for at least 200 suite-holders" (Sam Smith, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 4/28).