SBD/July 7, 2014/Facilities

NBA Kings Arena To Feature More Premium Seating; Massive Price Increase Not Expected

Construction on the Kings' new arena is set to begin later this month
The NBA Kings' new $477M arena will seat just 17,500 fans, which is "fewer than 200 additional seats compared to Sleep Train Arena," but there will be "far more seats in the lower bowl, translating into higher ticket prices," according to Kasler & Lillis of the SACRAMENTO BEE. The arena, where construction will begin later this month, also will have "twice as many 'premium' seats, including luxury suites and lofts, which will come with VIP perks and be among the most expensive tickets in the house." Team officials said that those features will "more than offset the relatively small total seating capacity." Arena designers are following a "less-is-more revolution taking place in sports economics." The upper bowl of the arena will be "laden with nice touches, including a bridge-like overlook that will allow fans to simultaneously watch the game while taking a peek at what’s happening outside the arena." Kings Senior VP/Marketing & Strategy Ben Gumpert said the arena will include “amenities for every seat in the building." Gumpert: "It’s not just a premium play.” Some tickets will "remain relatively inexpensive." Kings President Chris Granger said, “We’ll still have $10 seats on the low end.” Granger added that the Kings have made "no concrete decisions about ticket pricing beyond some pre-sales of luxury suites." He said fans should not expect a "massive" increase in prices when the arena opens in October '16. Granger noted the franchise already has leased some suites, and “the pace of sales has far exceeded our expectations.” Kasler & Lillis note besides the "high-dollar courtside seats, the arena will include nine rows of 'club seats' featuring assorted VIP amenities, such as access to private clubs." The exact number of premium seats has not been finalized, but Gumpert said that about 13% of the seating will be "considered premium." Sleep Train Arena counts less than 6% of capacity as premium seating (SACRAMENTO BEE, 7/7).
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