SBJ/Nov. 8-14, 2010/This Week's Issue

NBA partners with QuintEvents

The NBA is getting into the hospitality business with QuintEvents in a deal that makes the company the official hospitality provider for the league’s 2011 All-Star Weekend, Feb. 18-20 in Los Angeles.

It is the first time the league is partnering with a company to sell all-star hospitality packages to the general public. Previously, the NBA made packages available only to its league partners.

The deal with Charlotte-based Quint-Events includes packages ranging in price from $1,599 to $8,299. The packages, which are available in blocks to allow for group purchases, include tickets for all three NBA All-Star events at Staples Center and pregame and postgame hospitality at the All-Star Game on Feb. 20. Hotel accommodations also are included in some of the packages.

“It is in response to demand from fans who want to attend All-Star, as was demonstrated last year in Dallas,” said Ski Austin, executive vice president of events and attractions for the NBA. “It gives us a way to open up the full [All-Star] experience to what we do.”

The league last season set an All-Star Game attendance record by drawing 108,713 fans to the game held inside Cowboys Stadium. This season’s game will be held at 18,997-seat Staples Center with very limited public ticket inventory.

Austin would not disclose the ticket allotment included in the league’s hospitality deal, but QuintEvents CEO Brian Learst said his company will receive at least a few hundred tickets spread throughout all areas of Staples Center.

“It is not a huge number, but it is enough where groups can sit together,” Learst said. “This is the first time we’ve done anything with the NBA, and they wanted a full-service program as opposed to just selling tickets.”

QuintEvents has similar hospitality deals with the NFL as part of its NFL On Location program, which includes the Super Bowl, the Pro Bowl and the draft. The company also has a hospitality deal with Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby.

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