South Florida Sports Venues Give New Meaning To Club Seats
By this fall, all four major professional teams in South Florida "will offer unique, club-like spaces, most under established brand names, with varying degrees of affordability and exclusivity," according to Hannah Sampson of the MIAMI HERALD. The Heat will "celebrate the grand opening of the high-end Hyde AmericanAirlines Arena" during the team's Oct. 30 home opener against the Celtics. Also, BankAtlantic Center, home of the NHL Panthers, by Oct. 1 "will open a members-only upscale venue called Club RED." For the Dolphins, LIV Sun Life Stadium "kicked off the local club-in-stadium scene two years ago, followed by the Clevelander at Marlins Park."
HEATING UP: With the Heat partnering with L.A.-based hospitality, real estate and entertainment company sbe, Hyde AmericanAirlines Arena is "more about partying before, after or between plays -- or while listening to them." There will be "no view of the court from the super-exclusive club, except on screens." The venue "will be open to season ticket holders and will charge a cover." Construction is "underway in the court level area." Heat President of Business Operations Eric Woolworth said that he "expects the space to be profitable." However, Woolworth said, "I think any of us would be fooling ourselves if we thought it would move the needle very far."
CAT FANCY: The Panthers are "not bringing in an outside brand," as the franchise is "creating its own brand: Club RED, named for the team color." The 12,000-square-foot members-only lounge, by the arena's front entrance, "includes a 60-foot bar, lounge areas, all-you-can eat food serving stations -- and lots of red design elements." Sunrise Sports & Entertainment "expects the club to pay for itself between one and two years if it sells out as expected." Access to the lounge "and a seat for every concert, show and hockey game will run $16,500 a year; a package for just hockey games costs $9,500 annually." Panthers President & COO Michael Yormark anticipates "being sold out by the middle of the hockey season."
TOUCHDOWN CLUB: LIV Sun Life GM Cristian LaCapra said that going into the club's third year, "all of the 216 lower-level seats and four-person couches are already sold out for the season at a cost of $200 per seat and $275 a person on the couches." Miami Marketing Group (MMG) "partners with Sun Life Stadium to operate the club, as it partners with the Fontainebleau to run the venue there." The Fontainebleau "owns the LIV brand." MMG co-Owner David Grutman said the Dolphins paid "millions" to build the stadium version. The two entities "have a revenue sharing partnership."
GOING FISHING: The Marlins and the Clevelander's Owner, Brio Investment Group, "both contributed to the cost of building the sports bar." They "share revenues, though neither group would disclose how the money is split." Brio Exec VP/Hospitality Mike Palma said that the company is "projecting more than $2 million in gross sales for food, beverage and venue fees at the ballpark location." He added that the "amount of traffic the venue is getting as well as the financial performance has surpassed expectations" (MIAMI HERALD, 8/12).