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Fenway
06-17-2005, 02:53 PM
http://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=article.wideArticle&articleID=45696

STILL GROUNDED: The Chicago White Sox still haven’t opened the United Airlines-sponsored restaurant exclusive to the 314 new premium seats behind home plate at U.S. Cellular Field and the 5,000-square-foot eatery might not be ready until 2006, confirmed Brooks Boyer, the team’s vice president of marketing.
“We weren’t happy with the design or the price to build it,” Boyer said. “We’re hopeful that we’ll still have something for this season.”

HKS designed the initial concept and will plan another restaurant, Boyer said. Turner Construction will build the eatery; Levy Restaurants will operate it.

The lounge was part of the amenities package for what the White Sox call their “scout seats,” the ballpark’s highest-priced tickets at $170 and $200 per game.

The restaurant was supposed to open for the start of the 2005 season when the White Sox announced the seating addition last year. Instead, scout seat patrons are eating their pregame meals from a buffet in a temporary space next to the area planned for the restaurant.

Don Muret can be reached at dmuret@sportsbusinessjournal.com (dmuret@sportsbusinessjournal.com).

mweflen
06-17-2005, 02:55 PM
I'd mugh rather see that ugly tent outside gate 4 every day - and the ugly projection TV they have in the corner...:D:

Sly
06-17-2005, 02:58 PM
It says the "ballpark's highest-priced tickets." Heck, at Wrigley, the same seats are $250 and that doesn't even include food!

Jerko
06-17-2005, 03:11 PM
Is THAT what that ugly ass tent is out there? The Scout Seat 'restaurant'? I hope those people get/got a discount.

mweflen
06-17-2005, 03:14 PM
Yup. I wonder if Levy is handling the food there now?

Dinner, parking and a ballgame might be worth $200 for 4 people (which, at last year's prices, was about what it would run for 4 Sec. 136 tix, $16 parking, and a reasonable dinner for 4). For 1 person, it's an onscene ripoff. But there's a sucker born every minute I guess...

Jerko
06-17-2005, 03:26 PM
No wonder they gave all the "displaced" people down there free membership to the stadium club instead of the scout seat restaurant. It all makes sense now.

Realist
06-17-2005, 03:27 PM
$200 for fantastic seats to a White Sox game, free booze, and food that's outstanding in quality - for the entire game. That's damn cheap. I don't go out for the nite without dropping at least $150 and that's just for the bar tab.

I'm taking my brother to a game in the Scout Seats for his birthday.

MUsoxfan
06-17-2005, 03:28 PM
For 1 person, it's an onscene ripoff. But there's a sucker born every minute I guess...

I think it's quite a deal. I'll do it once (maybe twice) this year.

mweflen
06-17-2005, 03:29 PM
But there's a sucker born every minute I guess...

:redneck I'm cheap like that. Sue me.

TornLabrum
06-17-2005, 03:37 PM
I can generally get by with a MAXIMUM (Premier dates) of

$39.00 - seat
$17.00 - parking
$ 1.00 - scorecard
$14.00 - food & beverage
______
$71.00

BRDSR
06-17-2005, 03:39 PM
Man, some of ya'll in here are high rollers. Are you professional gamblers or something?

If I went to 8 games in the Scout Seats, alone, I would already have spent more than I spent to sit in the second row in left center for 27 games, and I get to bring a friend(who often pays me back the price of their ticket.) They're definitely not for me, but I can totally understand the appeal in the corporate world. Comparable in price to the skybox, more flexible(don't have to buy for as many people) and the seats are much better to watch the game in. Anyway, for all of you pro poker players out there, let me know how the seats are. Or, just wave. I'm in Section 103, lol.

34 Inch Stick
06-17-2005, 03:44 PM
$200 for fantastic seats to a White Sox game, free booze, and food that's outstanding in quality - for the entire game. That's damn cheap. I don't go out for the nite without dropping at least $150 and that's just for the bar tab.

I'm taking my brother to a game in the Scout Seats for his birthday.

Can you buy those tickets from the Sox. I thought they could only be purchased as part of a season ticket. If you can I might get one for a game.

mweflen
06-17-2005, 03:44 PM
My average budget per game:

Half Price Monday or Tuesday UDR ticket (sec. 520): $7
CTA fare: $3.50 (less because of my monthly pass)
Scorecard: $1
Water purchased at Walgreens: $0.79
Peanuts purchased at Jewel: $2
Grilled Polish with onions (or some other concession item): $4

Total: ~$18.

Added bonus: not having to look up an umpire's fanny for 3 hours.

Jerko
06-17-2005, 03:45 PM
I'm not dissing the concept of the scout seats and adjoining restaurant/bar, but if I pre-paid 200 bucks a game to sit there and got hoarded out to a tent with picnic tables in it, I'd expect a little discount, or I would eat and drink twice as much as Jerko-ily possible to make up for it. :D:

Jerko
06-17-2005, 03:46 PM
Can you buy those tickets from the Sox. I thought they could only be purchased as part of a season ticket. If you can I might get one for a game.

I think ST holders can now purchase single game scout seats since they didn't sell out.

mweflen
06-17-2005, 03:48 PM
I'm not dissing the concept of the scout seats and adjoining restaurant/bar, but if I pre-paid 200 bucks a game to sit there and got hoarded out to a tent with picnic tables in it, I'd expect a little discount, or I would eat and drink twice as much as Jerko-ily possible to make up for it. :D:

For $200? Dude, I'd do a Napoleon Dynamite and start shoving tater tots in my pockets to take them home for later. I'd go Jane's Addiciton on them and start trying to smuggle watermelons out in my shirt! I'd get a Foam Dome and fill it up with beer to carry home with me!

FWIW, the $170 seats are actually better - you are elevated a bit so you can actually see the plate over the umpire. I've sat in those seats many times, back in the under-$40 days.

Someone sitting in 136 behind the scout section has a better view.

Realist
06-17-2005, 03:50 PM
I have no wife and never have had one either, so no alimony. I have no kids, so no college tuition or having to buy a new pair of hockey skates every six months cause the kid's growing out of 'em. My car is completely paid off and I have zero debt to speak of.

I'm not a high-roller by any stretch of the imagination. I just make sure I always have money set aside for savings each week, and when it's time to have fun... I'm not afraid to use it.

:bandance:

TornLabrum
06-17-2005, 03:50 PM
I'm not dissing the concept of the scout seats and adjoining restaurant/bar, but if I pre-paid 200 bucks a game to sit there and got hoarded out to a tent with picnic tables in it, I'd expect a little discount, or I would eat and drink twice as much as Jerko-ily possible to make up for it. :D:

Would it help you to know that the tables have white table cloths on them?

JKryl
06-17-2005, 03:53 PM
I'm not dissing the concept of the scout seats and adjoining restaurant/bar, but if I pre-paid 200 bucks a game to sit there and got hoarded out to a tent with picnic tables in it, I'd expect a little discount, or I would eat and drink twice as much as Jerko-ily possible to make up for it. :D:

The tables are covered with a nice table cloth, chairs are placed around them, and the menu includes prime rib, etc. Plus the staff is outstanding. Not only do they ask if you have everything you need, they seem to really care. Finally, they even have popcorn, ice cream, etc for the kids. Yes, it is pricey, but you really have a good time.

Jerko
06-17-2005, 03:54 PM
Would it help you to know that the tables have white table cloths on them?

Only if they had little Sox logos on them.

mweflen
06-17-2005, 03:57 PM
I prefer quantity in my Sox attendance, not "quality."

For the money, I'd rather go to 33 games (my current target this year) than blow my wad on 1.

Call me crazy.

Plus, I'd rather mingle with the great unwashed than snoot it up in faux luxury.

If you've got the $$$, though, hey, it's yours to waste as you see fit :wink:

Jerko
06-17-2005, 03:58 PM
The tables are covered with a nice table cloth, chairs are placed around them, and the menu includes prime rib, etc. Plus the staff is outstanding. Not only do they ask if you have everything you need, they seem to really care. Finally, they even have popcorn, ice cream, etc for the kids. Yes, it is pricey, but you really have a good time.

I think the guy that used to run the stadium club is down there now, and he does a fine job.

Fenway
06-17-2005, 03:59 PM
We actually have the Devil Rays to thank for the idea of scout seats. They can't sell $5 upper deck, but $195-250 behind the plate? No Problem.

http://tampabay.devilrays.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/tb/ballpark/seating_pricing.jsp


Fenway Park you can pay $275 to sit in the first row behind the plate and have a waitress serve you. You see the same faces every game there.

cheeses_h_rice
06-17-2005, 04:13 PM
Is it just me, or does anyone else feel that the whole concept of the Scout Seats as a revenue generator was a terrible idea?

Here are the expenses/reductions in income that arose or will arise as a result of putting in new seats, taking out the old ones, and hiring personnel to take care of the SS holders:
-construction cost to build SS area
-loss of season ticket income from whatever percentage of ST holders decide not to renew because they couldn't afford the seats
-food/drink cost
-wait staff, ticket staff, parking lot staff to cater to SS holder needs


So, in my opinion, it seems that the math involved ends up with the Sox possibly being back at ground zero from a profit standpoint, because:
1. There are fewer seats in the SS area.
2. They haven't been able to sell full or half-season tickets for what appears to be the majority of the area
3. The difference in ticket price vs. last year, which is roughly $145 a ticket, is eaten up by the loss in parking revenue ($17), the cost of food/drink ($25-$40/person), and the cost of hiring waitstaff.

Even if the Sox are squeezing out a slightly higher profit from this new area, they now have a very visible area of seats that on TV looks terrible if it isn't sold out, which it hasn't been pretty much most games this year. I guess it's a gamble that *might* pay off if the Sox get really hot and successfully convince enough wealthy dowager-types to fork over $16K/year/seat. But I think it screws over "regular" fans to benefit a few, and if it isn't bringing in a ton more money, I don't see what the point was in the first place.

MushMouth
06-17-2005, 04:33 PM
$200 for fantastic seats to a White Sox game, free booze, and food that's outstanding in quality - for the entire game. That's damn cheap. I don't go out for the nite without dropping at least $150 and that's just for the bar tab.

I'm taking my brother to a game in the Scout Seats for his birthday.

whoa whoa - Scout Seats come with free booze?????!

That changes my whole perception of them... I'd like to hit at least one game in those seats in that case.

mweflen
06-17-2005, 04:43 PM
Is it just me, or does anyone else feel that the whole concept of the Scout Seats as a revenue generator was a terrible idea?

Here are the expenses/reductions in income that arose or will arise as a result of putting in new seats, taking out the old ones, and hiring personnel to take care of the SS holders:
-construction cost to build SS area
-loss of season ticket income from whatever percentage of ST holders decide not to renew because they couldn't afford the seats
-food/drink cost
-wait staff, ticket staff, parking lot staff to cater to SS holder needs


So, in my opinion, it seems that the math involved ends up with the Sox possibly being back at ground zero from a profit standpoint, because:
1. There are fewer seats in the SS area.
2. They haven't been able to sell full or half-season tickets for what appears to be the majority of the area
3. The difference in ticket price vs. last year, which is roughly $145 a ticket, is eaten up by the loss in parking revenue ($17), the cost of food/drink ($25-$40/person), and the cost of hiring waitstaff.

Even if the Sox are squeezing out a slightly higher profit from this new area, they now have a very visible area of seats that on TV looks terrible if it isn't sold out, which it hasn't been pretty much most games this year. I guess it's a gamble that *might* pay off if the Sox get really hot and successfully convince enough wealthy dowager-types to fork over $16K/year/seat. But I think it screws over "regular" fans to benefit a few, and if it isn't bringing in a ton more money, I don't see what the point was in the first place.

I could not agree more. Financially, it seems like a wash, and it just ticks off loyal fans who 1. used to have those seats; and 2. can't afford such luxury spending.

Brooks Boyer often talks about "building the brand image" and the "brand value." I personally think this is a bunch of marketing gobbledeygook. Are snooty, exclusive services really part of the "brand image" that the White Sox want to build? Will it really appeal to the Sox' more down to earth, working class fan base?

I obviously can't speak for everyone, but personally, I find the seats to be insulting. They already pushed the UD too high to accomodate another level of (empty) skyboxes. Now they take good seats away from fans on normal budgets and try to sell them to corporations (http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/cws/ticketing/premium/scout.jsp)?

:chunks

TornLabrum
06-17-2005, 04:46 PM
Is it just me, or does anyone else feel that the whole concept of the Scout Seats as a revenue generator was a terrible idea?

Here are the expenses/reductions in income that arose or will arise as a result of putting in new seats, taking out the old ones, and hiring personnel to take care of the SS holders:
-construction cost to build SS area
-loss of season ticket income from whatever percentage of ST holders decide not to renew because they couldn't afford the seats
-food/drink cost
-wait staff, ticket staff, parking lot staff to cater to SS holder needs


So, in my opinion, it seems that the math involved ends up with the Sox possibly being back at ground zero from a profit standpoint, because:
1. There are fewer seats in the SS area.
2. They haven't been able to sell full or half-season tickets for what appears to be the majority of the area
3. The difference in ticket price vs. last year, which is roughly $145 a ticket, is eaten up by the loss in parking revenue ($17), the cost of food/drink ($25-$40/person), and the cost of hiring waitstaff.

Even if the Sox are squeezing out a slightly higher profit from this new area, they now have a very visible area of seats that on TV looks terrible if it isn't sold out, which it hasn't been pretty much most games this year. I guess it's a gamble that *might* pay off if the Sox get really hot and successfully convince enough wealthy dowager-types to fork over $16K/year/seat. But I think it screws over "regular" fans to benefit a few, and if it isn't bringing in a ton more money, I don't see what the point was in the first place.

The Scout Seats cost the Sox nothing to build. That was part of the renovation money that came from the naming rights deal with U.S. Cellular. It would be interesting to find out how much those seats and the restaurant that goes with them ended up costing the Sox compared to the proposed "home run porch" in right field (which would have eliminated money recieved from advertisers for the billboards there).

cheeses_h_rice
06-17-2005, 04:53 PM
The Scout Seats cost the Sox nothing to build. That was part of the renovation money that came from the naming rights deal with U.S. Cellular. It would be interesting to find out how much those seats and the restaurant that goes with them ended up costing the Sox compared to the proposed "home run porch" in right field (which would have eliminated money recieved from advertisers for the billboards there).

Torn, you of all people should know about the concept of "opportunity cost." The money spent on the SS section would otherwise have gone to another improvement in the park, or to a quicker transition to green seats.

I wasn't sold on the home run porch in RF idea to begin with, but surely there was something more productive that the money could have been spent on.

TornLabrum
06-17-2005, 04:55 PM
Torn, you of all people should know about the concept of "opportunity cost." The money spent on the SS section would otherwise have gone to another improvement in the park, or to a quicker transition to green seats.

I wasn't sold on the home run porch in RF idea to begin with, but surely there was something more productive that the money could have been spent on.

However, the only thing that I recall from the HSK web site was the home run porch. This year the money went instead ot FUNdamentals, the scout seats, and the new restaurant. That's the only comparison we can make since those are the only proposals that we know about.