SBJ/May 6-12, 2013/Facilities

Hawks add seven all-inclusive loge boxes to Philips Arena

Don Muret
The Atlanta Hawks are building seven loge boxes at Philips Arena, a new premium-seat product 20 rows from the court.

The loges, designed with four permanent seats and two bar stools, are under construction at the top of the lower bowl in the arena’s northwest corner. The facility, originally designed by Populous, has all suites and club seats on the west side.

The loge boxes’ 28 fixed seats are opposite the visiting team’s bench and adjacent to the Georgia’s Own Credit Union Club, said Andrew Steinberg, senior vice president and chief revenue officer for Atlanta Spirit, owner of the Hawks and the arena.

The loge boxes, shown in a rendering, have a private bar.
Photo by: ATLANTA HAWKS
To clear space for the retrofit, the Hawks are removing 140 club seats in the last eight rows of the section. During the first round of the NBA playoffs, the team relocated those season-ticket holders, Steinberg said.

The loge boxes, sold as an all-inclusive ticket package, are priced in the low six figures annually with three- and five-year contracts. As of last week, the Hawks had just started marketing the new seats and had sold two of the seven boxes, Steinberg said, both to new buyers.

The agreements cover the cost of food and drink, including beer and wine, to all events at Philips Arena. Hard liquor is a separate fee.

The amenities include counter space, a private bar and dining area supporting the boxes and two iPads mounted on the front counter in each unit to view game replays and live streaming content.

The Hawks are marketing the loges as an ultra-exclusive premium seat because of their proximity to the floor, closest to the action among Atlanta’s big league sports venues for that type of seat group, Steinberg said.

The loges will provide prime sight lines for Hawks games and the dozens of concerts Philips Arena books every year.
The team’s goal is to complete loge box construction by sometime in June to take advantage of a busy concert schedule that month. Steinberg would not disclose the project cost.

The Johnson Studio, an Atlanta firm, is designing the conversion.

> THE HARTFORD: Global Spectrum’s deal to manage XL Center and Rentschler Field in Greater Hartford extends to its three sister firms as part of a joint bid by the group of Comcast-Spectacor subsidiaries.

Ovations Food Services will operate food service, Front Row Marketing will sell advertising and New Era Tickets will provide ticketing for both venues. All four deals are 10-year contracts.

Front Row is working to extend existing agreements at XL Center, including the arena’s naming rights, said Frank Russo, Global Spectrum’s senior vice president of business development and client relations. Front Row is negotiating the rights to sell inventory on signs outside Rentschler Field, where IMG holds advertising rights for the seating bowl in conjunction with the University of Connecticut, the stadium’s football tenant.

Ovations will invest about $1 million to improve the arena’s food operation, revamping concession stands, bringing new portable carts in the building and expanding menus, said Ken Young, the company’s president.

Global Spectrum takes over the stadium July 1 and the arena Sept. 1.

Don Muret can be reached at dmuret@sportsbusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @breakground.

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