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May 5, 2008

Nets hold court on luxury suites

Crain's New York Business [subscription required]

Next week, the Nets will debut a prototype of their Frank Gehry-designed, $300,000-a-year Barclays Center corporate suites at a splashy party in their New York Times Building showroom.

To entice 185 of New York’s top CEOs to attend—and buy—the organization delivered a series of gifts over the past month, including a Tiffany key chain with a key, one of which will open a door to a free suite for the team’s inaugural season. The arena is set to open in Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yards in 2010, if developer Bruce Ratner can clear all the legal hurdles in its path.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and rap star Jay-Z, a part-owner of the team, will be on hand for the May 15 event.

Already, 20% of the 130 luxury boxes have been sold to “friends and family,” says Nets Sports Entertainment CEO Brett Yormark.

So, why the full-court press? Mr.Yormark says corporate suites in the area will balloon to 950 from 350 as all the new stadiums come online, including ones for the Yankees, the Mets, and the Giants and Jets. “I can’t take anything for granted,” says the marketer, who will soon announce the advertisers buying rights to brand bars, corridors and other parts, of the arena.

NoLandGrab: "20% of the 130 luxury boxes have been sold to 'friends and family'?" Does that mean owners of the team and related corporate interests? The real test will be in selling suites in an arena for which ground has yet to be broken to unaffiliated companies, with new stadiums opening in the Bronx and Queens and Madison Square Garden embarking on a top-to-bottom renovation.

Posted by eric at May 5, 2008 11:45 AM