SBJ/February 9 - 15, 2004/Facilities

Arena’s premium plan: limo service

FleetCenter in Boston plans to roll out a limousine service for the 2004-05 NBA and NHL seasons catering to its Premium Club patrons, said Rich Krezwick, the arena's president and CEO.

The Premium Club is exclusive to the facility's club seat and suite holders.

"We're exploring a few options," he said. "It could be a joint venture, it could be acquiring a current company or we could start a new company on our own.

"Our premium customers are renting limos all the time, so why can't we do it? There shouldn't be any cost to us, and we could provide preferential rates and access to our club members."

The ultimate goal is to provide complimentary limo service, according to Krezwick. FleetCenter's business development team is researching that issue. The transportation program is the latest in a series of amenities extending beyond the building that FleetCenter has used to retain club seat holders and attract new business in a soft economy.

The Premium Club also offers memberships to private golf clubs, Caribbean cruises and tickets to Boston Red Sox games and theatrical shows such as "The Lion King."

Tickets to those events are in high demand and FleetCenter provides them to their clients at full price. "It's all about the access," Krezwick said.

FleetCenter officials continue to tinker with the premium seat program.

During the off-season, the Delaware North-owned property plans to convert about 500 club seats in the ends to regular seats. Those ticket prices are $85 for the Bruins and $110 for the Celtics, said Matt Whelan, FleetCenter's director of ticket operations. Those prices could be reduced for next season, said Krezwick."Those club seats have never been leased since the building opened" in 1995, he said. There are 2,400 club seats at FleetCenter.

"All the clubs are too large, and we all realized that after the bloom was off the rose. Now we all have to downscale and reduce capacity," he said, referring to the arena industry in general. "Those factors are settling in after the honeymoon. But there are still companies that can't afford a suite and have never been suite clients. The market is still there."

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