SBJ/May 28-June 3, 2012/Facilities

Kings’ retail sales highlight Staples Center’s wild weekend

Staples Center, propelled by record sales of Los Angeles Kings merchandise, generated about $3.4 million in food and retail sales during one of the busiest four-day stretches in arena history.

From May 17 to May 20, the Los Angeles facility played host to six NBA and NHL playoff games, including the Kings’ Western Conference Finals games against Phoenix on Thursday and Sunday.

Jerseys and other Kings merchandise was flying out of Staples Center.
Photo by: BERNSTEIN ASSOCIATES / STAPLES CENTER
The sale of Kings merchandise, strengthened by special-edition playoff items, produced a team record per cap of $11.39 for Game 3 of the series on May 17, said Lee Zeidman, Staples Center’s senior vice president and general manager. With attendance of 18,402, gross retail sales were about $210,000 at Team LA Store and other souvenir stands, including a portable kiosk set up at L.A. Live, the entertainment district across the street.

For Game 4 on May 20, gross retail sales were just short of $180,000, resulting in a per cap of $9.79 from a crowd of 18,367.

The arena merchandise numbers were “through the roof” compared with the typical $3 to $5 per caps at a regular-season Kings game, according to Zeidman.

The Kings’ retail per caps could have been higher had they closed out the Coyotes in Game 4. AEG Merchandising, sister company of AEG Facilities, the arena’s operator, runs the venue’s Team LA Store, and “we were ready to roll out the Stanley Cup Final stuff,” Zeidman said. Instead, the Coyotes won Game 4 before the Kings finished them off in Game 5 in Arizona.

The NBA Lakers continue to hold Staples Center’s record for single-game merchandise sales, establishing a $22.28 per cap for Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals.

Over the six events, Levy Restaurants, the arena’s food provider, reported per caps consistently topping $20 for general concessions and premium dining.

Game 4 of the Lakers’ series with Oklahoma City on May 19 produced total food and beverage sales of about $438,000, resulting in a $23.05 per cap from attendance of 18,997. The per caps were $4 to $5 higher than a regular-season game, Zeidman said.

The multiple arena changeovers extended to Team LA Store, which had to quickly shift merchandise back and forth depending on the event. AEG plans to upgrade store displays with movable walls to more efficiently manage those displays. Those improvements should save AEG six figures in labor costs over the course of the NBA and NHL seasons, Zeidman said.

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