SBJ/July 14 - 20, 2003/Facilities

Jags’ new megasuite sells well

A rooftop patio for all ticket holders will sit atop the new Terrace Suite in Jacksonville.

The NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars could generate $6.3 million in new revenue over three years from a supersized suite being built in the previously undeveloped south end zone at Alltel Stadium.

The project, called the Terrace Suite, will have a capacity of 712 and is part of a $47 million capital improvement project to upgrade the facility for the 2005 Super Bowl.

Alltel Stadium is municipally owned. The Jaguars, through lease amendments with the city, control revenue from the south end zone, however, with the exception of the new Bud Zone sports bar during city-operated events such as the Florida-Georgia football game, team vice president and chief financial officer Bill Prescott said.

The exclusive Terrace Suite is sandwiched between the 18,000-square-foot sports bar and another other new attraction, the 35,000-square-foot rooftop patio, both of which are accessible to all ticket holders. The patio will be used for temporary seating during the Super Bowl.

The 50,000-square-foot Pepsi Pavilion interactive/live entertainment zone opens outside the seating bowl in 2004. A temporary location will operate this season.

As of mid-July, the Jaguars had sold more than 600 Terrace Suite tickets, which are three-year commitments at $2,950 a season. The price includes 10 Jaguars dates (with food, soft drinks, beer and wine, and parking) and the right to buy tickets for Florida-Georgia, the Gator Bowl and Super Bowl.

"Quite honestly, we had a budget of [selling] 400 Terrace Suite seats and already reached our tentative goal," said Dan Connell, senior vice president of marketing. "It's a banner year. This will definitely be our second-best year in total revenue generated by ticket sales," behind only the team's first season in 1995.

The Terrace Suite comprises an indoor club/lounge, a veranda and cushioned outdoor seating. It fills the niche as a "hybrid between a suite and a club seat, attracting a lot of middle-market companies," Prescott said.

"We tapped into a market looking for exclusivity at a price cheaper than a suite, and this product really satisfies that," he said.

Prescott said the Jaguars have discussed title sponsorship of the Terrace Suite and patio with a few corporations and could secure deals worth $750,000 a year, similar to their other in-stadium title sponsorships.

The new developments will be ready and showcased at the Aug. 1 open house/intrasquad scrimmage, which will be free to the public with half-price food concessions.

Team officials are targeting 80 to 100 non-game-day functions annually in the extra-large suite and patio as the Jaguars offset reduced ticket prices for general seating in 2003 and begin to recoup the $28 million that was their portion of the investment in stadium renovations. The city is responsible for the remaining $19 million in construction costs.

Levy Restaurants signed a 10-year contract for buffet-style dining in the Terrace Suite and portable concessions in the south end zone and will play a crucial role in developing special-event activity, Prescott said. Centerplate has the remaining food service with regular concessions, 90 suites and 11,000 club seats.

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