SBJ/December 3-9, 2012/Facilities

Braves look to duplicate success of new club

The Atlanta Braves are building a club at Turner Field to match the ballpark’s profitable Georgia’s Own Credit Union Club, which opened last season.

The new premium space, which will open for the 2013 season, is on the club level along the third-base side of the press box. It will serve as a bookend to the existing club on the first-base side, said Derek Schiller, the Braves’ executive vice president of sales and marketing. In each case, the team is taking out two to three suites and about 200 regular seats to create the new space.

The Georgia’s Own Credit Union Club will get a twin on the Turner Field club level.
Photo by: POUYA DIANAT / ATLANTA BRAVES
“We found there is a market for this type of experience at a Braves game,” Schiller said. “We are picking up companies that really like the amenities. It provides for an easier business conversation opportunity.”

The new club will have 18 four-seat tables outdoors, a total of 72 seats. Ticket prices average about $100 a seat per game. Customers must buy the entire table through multiyear deals available for up to five years, Schiller said.
Every seat has a $30 food and drink credit built into the ticket’s bar code. The credit does not transfer to the next home game, Schiller said.

The retrofits provide the team with incremental revenue from the food and drink guarantee plus naming rights, given the credit union’s five-year deal with an annual value of $300,000 to $500,000. To name the new club, the Braves are in talks with two companies, including an existing sponsor, Schiller said.

As of last week, 11 of the 18 tables had been sold for the new club. The buyers have been split among existing season-ticket holders and new business, the same as the existing club, he said.

The 72-seat Georgia’s Own Credit Union Club, which has a design similar to that of the new club, was sold out for 2012 with a few two-seat tables mixed in with the four-seaters. The seats for both clubs have roof cover for protection against the summer sun and access to an air-conditioned lounge.

Private wait service and valet parking on the back side of Turner Field are other top-shelf amenities.

The team spent about $2 million to build the original club with a small kitchen attached. The investment to construct the new club will be slightly less because there is already a kitchen nearby to serve those seats, Schiller said.

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