SEAT Winter 2011

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SEAT Winter 2011

  1. 1. the conference program that gets fans off the couch page 34 S E AT leading the premium seat industry www.alsd.com winter 2011 p u b l i s h e d b y t h e a s s o c i at i o n o f l u x u r y s u i t e d i r e c t o r s @PhoenixSuns Blend Suites And SOCIAL MEDIA #bestnewideainthisissue Page 14 It’s A Marathon, Not A Sprint: The 2011 STATE OF THE INDUSTRY AND ASSOCIATION Page 12 collectiVe bargaining “On The Record” page 28 Sports And Entertainment Gets PERSONALBRIAN BYRNES Shares An Industry Secret Page 64Page 22 The Big Event Grows Bigger Through TECHNOLOGY Page 50 Through The Eyes Of The MLS SUITE DIRECTOR Page 68 penn state athletics nhl scores big flying right steps up in the suite market at the university of dayton page 18 page 58 page 16
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  4. 4. MOTOA4™ Mission Critical Portfolio THE INCIDENT NEEDS YOUR FOCUS. THE TECHNOLOGY SHOULDN’T In an emergency, multi-agency coordination isn’t a luxury — it is a necessity. And Motorola makes this necessity a reality. Our interoperable data and voice solutions empower response teams with real-time information to make better decisions. For example, our evacuee tracking application enables responders to better assist and track individuals throughout the evacuation process. When responders and command staff have the tools to prepare and respond to emergency situations, recovery operations are more effective, helping government and citizens get back to normal quicker. It’s no wonder our interoperable networks have been implemented more often than all other manufacturers combined. It’s just another way Motorola enables you to focus on your mission, not the technology. HELLOMOTO™ Learn more about Motorola solutions for your mission critical communication needs at motorola.com/secondnature MOTOROLA and the Stylized M Logo are registered in the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. All other product or service names are the property of their respective owners. © Motorola, Inc. 2009. All rights reserved. 66
  5. 5. Elite Risk Insurance Solutions Elite Risk Services, Inc. is pleased to bethe official insurance partner of the alsdWe recently launched a newly enhanced third party liability insurance policy thatis designed to protect suite owners and managers each and every time you rent a suite to a third party.  Separate your liability and pass the minimal insurance premium on to the renter or tenant. what does it coVer? • Third Party Liability • Property Damage or Bodily Injury (specific to the damages or injuries the client may cause or is held responsible) • Separates the suite manager, the venue and the suite owner from the renter or borrower of the suite • One low premium that can included in the suite rental agreement Visit www.suiteinsurance.com   or call Kevin Kurtz at 800-596-0969 ext. 105   License # 0G40499
  6. 6. How much money did you lose today? The average FanGo order is 110.5 LARGER % than the average traditional order.When fans order concessions and merchandise from their phones, orders are significantly larger and fans order more frequently. 859.608.4521 • info@thefango.com
  7. 7. SEAT Published by the Association of Luxury Suite DirectorscoVer story Winter 201128 a bulletin on collectiVe bargaining CBA is front of mind, yet unspoken, daily vocabulary for every- one who works in our industry. Since we know you are forbid- den to, SEAT goes “on the record” for you and discusses this most relevant issue. BY BILL DORSEY 34features32 return on inVestment: a matter of perspectiVe, as well as economics Consider this your introduction to ROI…from the sponsor’s point of view. BY BRUCE MCLAUGHLIN34 21st annual alsd conference and tradeshow What’s new at the ALSD Conference and Tradeshow this year? For starters, you have the opportunity to control the content of one of the general sessions. PLUS: Learn the magic bullets to fix a broken industry. 5858 nhl teams score big in the suite marKet The NHL is divided into traditional and non-traditional mar- kets. Is there a difference in suite prices amongst these varying 64 marketplaces? Compare pricing and the variables determining those prices for all 30 NHL teams. Eastern Conference BY DR. PETER TITLEBAUM AND DEBBIE TITLEBAUM Variables Western Conference Di 250 Average 2010 Forbes Team Value 20664 personaliZing sports and entertainment Customizing the fan experience seems to be everywhere. And ($mil) we’re not just talking jerseys and T-shirts. SEAT shares aAverage 2010 Arbitron 4,443,927 sam- 3,191,355 1, pling of the personal touches within the venue marketplace. BY BILL DORSEY AND RYAN MIRABEDINI Population 93 Average Number of Suites 9368 $119,867 through the eyes of the mls suite director Average Low Cost of a Suite $123,226 $ In the second installment of our roundtable series, SEAT as- sembles a collection $290,867 of Major League Soccer suite directors from High Cost of A suite Average $267,838 $ across each conference 1,521 and multiple geographies. Find Average Maximum Suite out more 1,420 about the hip world of North American soccer premium seating. WITH RYAN MIRABEDINI Seating Capacity 18,654 About the Cover: Illustration by Bruce Budd Average Facility Seating Capacity 18,291 8.04% Average Suite Seating % of 7.73% Contents continues overleaf Facility Capacity 21 Full House Average Fortune 1000 19 Please Recycle This Magazine 68 Companies in Market www.alsd.com | WINTER 2011 | S E A T | 7
  8. 8. WinterSEAT ASSocIATIoN of LuxuRy 2011 SuITE DIREcToRS Chairman Bill Dorsey Executive Director Amanda VerhoffPublished by the Association of Luxury Suite Directors President Jennifer Ark, Green Bay Packers VP, Business Development Pat McCaffrey Director, Sponsor and Partnership Development Dene Shiels Director of Finance Dan Lindeman Financial Account Manager Vickie Henke Director of Information Technology John Tymoski Editor of SEAT, Website Director Jared Frank National Sales Manager Scott Hinzman Marketing Assistant Ryan Mirabedini Design Carole Winters Art + Design ExECuTIVE CoMMITTEE Chris Bigelow, Bigelow Companies Brian Bucciarelli, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Greg Hanrahan, united Center Tom Kaucic, Southern Wine & Spirits Pat McCaffrey, ALSD 24 Kim Reckley, Detroit Red Wings & olympia Entertainment BoARD oF DIRECToRSdepartments sports technology corner Janie Boles, Auburn university10 NEW ALSD MEMBERS 50 TECHNOLOGY AND OTHER Natalie Burbank, utah Jazz / Salt Lake Bees Richard Dobransky, Delaware North Companies12 EDITOR’S NOTE IMPACTS ON THE BIGGEST Trent Dutry, uS Airways Center State of the Industry EVENTS IN SPORTS AND Chris Granger, National Basketball Association BY JARED FRANK ENTERTAINMENT Patti Kimbrough, university of Arkansas S.E.A.T. outlines a three-step guide to Gerald Kissel State of the Association Debbie Massa, RoI Consulting BY AMANDA VERHOFF executing and maximizing revenue at sport Mike Ondrejko, Madison Square Garden and entertainment’s big events. Richard Searls, New York Red Bulls14 INDUSTRY AND ASSOCIATION BY CHRISTINE STOFFEL Tom Sheridan, Chicago White Sox NEWS Michael Smith, Philadelphia union Suns find harmony between suites and 52 5TH ANNUAL Peter Titlebaum, university of Dayton social media S.E.A.T. CONFERENCE Brian Varnadoe, Houston Texans University of Dayton Arena Flies Right Your first look at this year’s sessions, Bob White, Calgary Flames Penn State empowers seat holders as part speakers, tours and receptions. ALSD 2011 STEERING CoMMITTEE of STEP Plan SPORTS & eNTeRTAiNMeNT ALLiANCe iN TeCHNOLOGy Adam Link, Home Depot Center S.E.A.T ExECuTIVE CoMMITTEE Alicia Fox, Home Depot Center20 ON ALSD.COM Christine Stoffel, Founder, S.E.A.T. Consortium Bryan Lawrence, Angels Baseball ALSD presents a comprehensive recap of Chris Wood, S.E.A.T. Chief Technology Advisor/Coordinator Chris Cockrell, AEG/STAPLES Center the situation that unfolded recently at the Michele Kajiwara, AEG/STAPLES Center S.E.A.T. 2011 STEERING CoMMITTEE Metrodome. Bob Jordan, New Meadowlands Stadium Co.22 MEMBER HIGHLIGHT Casey Bookout, university of oklahoma SEAT visits with Brian Byrnes, Senior VP Craig Neeb, International Speedway Corporation Chip Foley, Forest City Ratners of Sales and Marketing, Oklahoma City Chris Dill, Portland Trail Blazers Thunder. Dan O’Neil, National Hockey League BY JARED FRANK Dennis Mills, Major Events International Jim Darrow, Ilitch Holdings/Detroit Red Wings Published by Venue Pub. Inc. Copyright 2011. (All rights78 COMING ATTRACTIONS John Avenson, Minnesota Twins reserved). SEAT is a registered trademark of the Association Kevin Naylor, Indiana Pacers of Luxury Suite Directors. SEAT is published quarterly and is Larry Bonfante, united States Tennis Association complimentary to all members of the Association of Luxury Lorraine Spadaro, DNC Boston, Inc/TD Garden Suite Directors. Mike Morris, Major League Baseball Nancy Galietti, National Football League Peter Surhoff, Major League Baseball Paul DelGuidice, National Basketball Association Paul Barber, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Richard Searls, Red Bulls Arena Roger Baugh, London 2012 olympics Sasha Puric, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Association of Luxury Suite Directors Steve Conley, Boston Red Sox 10017 McKelvey Road, Cincinnati, oH 45231 513 674 0555 Shane Harmon, New Zealand 2011 World Cup Rugby amanda@alsd.com Tod Caflisch, New orleans Hornets Wayne Wichlacz, Green Bay Packers8 | S E A T | WINTER 2011 | www.alsd.com
  9. 9. NEW ALSD MEMbERS WINTER 2011Darby Cave Charles Bruner John PollardNike Gift Card Account Manager Club Level Sales Manager General Manager, Sports SolutionsNike, Inc. Arsenal Football Club STATS, LLCone Bowerman Drive Highbury House 6032 111th PL NEBeaverton, oR 97005-6453 75 Drayton Park Kirkland, WA 98033P: 503-671-6453 x3 London, England N5 1Bu P: 206-818-9418darby.cave@nike.com P: 020-7704-4552 jp@stats.com cbruner@arsenal.co.ukJason Butikofer Brian KoppDirector, Annual Fund and Premium Seating Sarah olsavsky VP, Strategic Planninguniversity of Minnesota Athletics Director- Event Marketing & Seating, Athletics STATS, LLC275 Bierman Athletic Offices ohio State university 2775 Shermer Road516 15th Ave. SE 1020 Schottenstein Center Northbrook, IL 60062Minneapolis, MN 55455 Columbus, oH 43210 P: 847-728-4336P: 612-624-6902 P: 614-688-5745 bkopp@stats.combutik001@umn.edu olsavsky.5@osu.edu Nicole DeFordLee Zeidman A.J. Bondi Project Leader, Strategic PlanningSenior Vice President/General Manager Director of Client Experience STATS, LLCSTAPLES Center and Nokia Theatre LA LIVE Cleveland Cavaliers 2775 Shermer RoadAEG one Center Court Northbrook, IL 600621111 S. Figueroa Street, Suite 3100 Cleveland, oH 44115 P: 847-728-4338Los Angeles, CA 90015 P: 216-420-2117 ndeford@stats.comlzeidman@staplescenter.com abondi@cavs.com Jeanne MagrathJason McDonough Brian DiTucci Coordinator, Luxury Suite ServicesPremium Seating Sales Executive Director of Ticket Sales Golden State WarriorsGreen Bay Packers oakland Athletics 1011 Broadway1265 Lombardi Ave. 7000 Coliseum Dr. oakland, CA 94607Green Bay, WI 54304 oakland, CA 94621 P: 510-986-2223P: 920-569-7280 P: 510-563-2318 jamagrath@gs-warriors.commcdonoughj@packers.com bditucci@oaklandathletics.com Jim olsonJoe Simler Jessica Fernandez Senior Vice President, Sales & MarketingPremium Seating Sales Executive Premium Services Account Manager utah Jazz / Salt Lake Bees / Miller Motorsports ParkGreen Bay Packers Miami HEAT 2075 Parleys Canyon Blvd.1265 Lombardi Ave. 601 Biscayne Blvd. Salt Lake City, uT 84109Green Bay, WI 54304 Miami, FL 33132 P: 801-463-9520P: 920-569-7279 P: 786-777-4155 jolson@utahjazz.comsimlerj@packers.com jfernandez@heat.com Jeff KleidAndy Liebman Jessica LaBonte PresidentAssistant Professor, Business Administration Premium Services Account Manager Elite Risk InsuranceHoly Family university Miami HEAT 423 31st StreetSchool of Business Administration 601 Biscayne Blvd. Newport Beach, CA 926639801 Frankford Avenue Miami, FL 33132 jekleid@eliterisk.comPhiladelphia, PA 19114-2009 P: 786-777-4157P: 267-341-3405 jlabonte@heat.com Kevin Kurtzaliebman@holyfamily.edu Senior Vice President Ana Aviles Elite Risk InsuranceRyan K. Zapalac, Ph.D Premium Services Account Manager 423 31st StreetAssistant Professor Miami HEAT Newport Beach, CA 92663Sam Houston State university 601 Biscayne Blvd. P: 800-596-0969Department of Health & Kinesiology Miami, FL 33132 kkurtz@eliterisk.comBox 2176 P: 786-777-4177Huntsville, Tx 77341 aaviles@heat.com Dustin AccipiterP: 936-294-4575 Studentrkz001@shsu.edu Jacqueline Collazo California university of Pennsylvania Coordinator, Premium Partnerships 412 Spruce StreetKevin ulbert Miami HEAT Mount Pleasant, PA 15666Vice President of Sales 601 Biscayne Blvd. P: 724-331-2282Great American Products Miami, FL 33132 dsap107@yahoo.com1661 South Seguin Ave. P: 786-777-4228New Braunfels, Tx 78130 jcollazo@heat.com Field HucksP: 830-643-8024 Studentkevin@gap1.com Trisha Burgan Georgetown university Vice President, Client Development 916 3rd Street NEWally Gullick idegy Washington, DC 20002Vice President of Licensed Products 3990 Business Park Drive P: 843-241-4267Great American Products Columbus, oH 43204 fieldhucks@gmail.com1661 South Seguin Ave. P: 614-255-4819New Braunfels, Tx 78130 trisha@idegy.com Mickal TerryP: 830-643-8023 Studentwally@gap1.com Nick Stamm Sam Houston State university Assoc. Director, Marketing & Communications 15821 FM 2354 STATS, LLC Baytown, Tx 77523 2775 Shermer Road P: 832-523-2492 Northbrook, IL 60062 mgt001@shsu.edu P: 847-583-2110 stamm@stats.com10 | S E A T | WINTER 2011 | www.alsd.com
  10. 10. Editor’s notE by JAREd FRANkThe State of the IndustryOnwards and UpwardsT he ALSD dubbed 2010 the year of NCAA football games (regular season and bowl “The Transformation.” We were in games), boxing matches et al. the wake of a period in which suites A sample of other non-traditional big events became prisons for some corpora- in unique facilities in 2010 includes:tions, and premium amenities were considered • Illinois vs. Northwestern NCAA Football,contraband. We were beginning to see the played at Wrigley Fieldindustry approaching the intersection of sports • Notre Dame vs. Army NCAA Football;and entertainment as we observed some major Pinstripe Bowl, played at Yankee Stadiumchanges. Specific to premium seating, these • Penn State vs. Indiana NCAA Football,changes included shorter leases, shared leases, played at FedEx Fieldlower occupancy rates, no show issues and a • The NHL Winter Classic, played atwaning fan experience. And well, the environ- Heinz Fieldment is not drastically different one year later. • Dallas Mavericks vs. Phoenix SunsWe are still jousting between old methods and AutoTrader.com Open, played at Indiannew in some circumstances. inventory is found at CONSOL Energy Center Wells Tennis Garden With these things in mind, this year’s theme in Pittsburgh, which opened in August 2010. I expect teams traveling to unique facilities tois “The Solutions.” 2011 will teach us the new When we spoke with Mike Guiffre, Director of continue to become more and more commonsolutions to achieve meaningful progress in our Premium Seating for the Pittsburgh Penguins, as we continue to push for big experiences thataltered environment as well as instill the condi- last summer, he stated, “We have two areas of cannot be found in front of a television or com-tioning needed for new ideas to anchor. If I am loge boxes that we couldn’t build enough of.” puter. Speaking of big experiences…calling a spade a spade, we did not fare as well Another trend of the future is thinking aboutas we would have liked in 2010, but we fared creating greater demand and intimacy in ven- We are working in the paradigm of theonward. And in 2011, we will fare upwards. ues through smaller capacities for the repeated big experience Narrowing down my specific observations event, while including flexibility to expand for How to create a unique and compelling enoughof the industry into something manageable the big event. Speaking of the big event… experience to compete with the living room isfor the readers of SEAT was difficult. I shaved the greatest challenge the sports industry facesmy list by differentiating the deep-rooted ideas We are working in the paradigm of the at present. The industry is starting to look atthat call for endurance contra to the fleeting big event the fan experience from square one by lookingincremental changes that simply satisfy our In broad terms, the amount of revenue that beyond its borders for best practices and freshinstant gratification, microwave mentality and can be generated from a facility coupled with perspectives outside stadiums and arenas. Ourimpatient approach. I ultimately settled on the as little financial risk as possible is still one of industry is finally starting to realize that wefollowing three major points. But I realize the the most important issues for the industry to might not have all the answers. I have heard oflist is more sundry rather than all and sundry. consider. To maximize cost-effectiveness, the noteworthy presentations from everyone from arena business has been competitive for some Frito Lay’s to the seemingly omnipresent DisneyWe are working in the paradigm of mixed time now in trying to book as many events as Institute.inventory possible outside of the anchor NHL or NBA My belief is a disciplined adherence to theThe traditional 16-person suite still has a tenant. Now, MLB and NFL stadiums are join- seemingly insignificant details is what willplace, but as part of a wider variety of product ing the mix. ultimately separate the in-person experienceofferings. We highlight the Oklahoma City With public financing significantly less and drive revenue. If I learned anything fromArena in this issue (page 24), which is a perfect available and in some cases non-existent, the Disney Institute’s presentation at last year’sillustration of the changing forces of real estate. solution to emerge over the last decade and ALSD Conference, it is that taking care of theIts 2010 renovation eliminated 20 suites and proliferate considerably in 2010-2011 is to minutiae of our customers’ experiences is whatrepurposed the space with 48 four- or six-seat build a facility as multi-purposeful as pos- separates the venue from the living room. It isterrace boxes. The building’s new ratio of 36 sible in order to make the venue profitable for the little moments of joy that people remember.traditional suites to 48 terrace boxes is upside private financiers. May all of us have many little moments ofdown compared to other arenas. But I expect The obvious example of this is Cowboys joy in 2011.this to be a trend that grows and favors other Stadium. Cowboys Stadium has attracted asimilar sized markets. mishmash of big events, including this year’s What are your predictions for 2011? Further evidence of the decreasing number Super Bowl, last year’s NBA All-Star Game, Email Jared at jared@alsd.com.of suites and the rise in popularity of mid-level NCAA men’s basketball games, numerous12 | S E A T | WINTER 2011 | www.alsd.com
  11. 11. STATE oF ThE ASSocIAToN by AmANdA vERhoFFYou only get out what you put inA runner’s metaphor for how you can help this associationY ou only get out what you put in,” along the way! even if resistance persists. After all, what if just I told myself as I laced up the ol’ The point: Your department has goals. But one of your suggestions lands a million dollar Asics on a recent Saturday morning if you read SEAT Magazine and Between the account or renews a final suite lease? Imagine before heading out for a 20-mile run. SEATs e-newsletter and start discussing new your potential if you embrace the uphill battleIt was the only rational thought that would initiatives with fellow members, your goals that could ultimately make you irreplaceable.squelch the reality of how stupid it really was might change. You may learn about a novelto train for a marathon in the middle of winter. value-add, discover a database management Never underestimate the power ofIt helped shake the thoughts of the donuts tool or meet a member who can introduce trainingand the Today Show anchors I left behind, but new clients. Exercise your resources; they may Training for the daunting 26.2-mile marathon isI needed something more to fill the hours of provide the constructive obstruction you need grueling and time consuming. But once more, yousidewalk solidarity. I had forgotten to charge to improve your objectives and your results. only get out what you put in.my iPod, so the rap music that spawns my The point: Progress is imminent in allinner badass was out and Nora Roberts’ Bridal venues; you must learn why and how to adapt.Quartet audio book would have to wait until Enter the ALSD Conference. The 2011 show innext weekend’s run. LA will outline “The Solutions” to the broken Just as I was considering cursing the husband premium seating model. You will learn aboutfor registering us for this race, the mantra that a soccer franchise that is setting the bar forwas fueling my run hit me again. Only this technology-use in a venue, an NBA team thattime, that same mantra sparked what would is using the airlines’ yield management modelsturn out to inspire my exposition on how you to sell premium seats and a method for leadingcan help this association. “You only get out in a time of rapid change. It’s up to you to seizewhat you put in” epitomizes what an associa- the opportunity for training.tion is all about, and during those three painfulhours, I proved it. Follow along and learn how. Charge your Garmin watch Take side streets and cul-de-sacs Twenty miles is a long way. Did I mention thatEmbrace your cheerleaders Twenty miles is a long way. A really long way. I already? Well it’s worth repeating, because youAs I set out for my run, my neighbor Adel was needed to stay close to home, but also cover the need to remember to recharge your battery so itleaving for church. We waved and went our sepa- required mileage. So I ran every side street and lasts for the long road ahead. It’s the only thing,rate ways. When she returned home after service, cul-de-sac I could. Each one didn’t amount to along with the donuts at the finish line, that willI was starting my second loop by our houses. She much individually, but collectively they really keep you going.looked at me like I was crazy, but cheered me on added up. The point: You need to recharge. You are thenonetheless, and during a Sunday chat asked how The point: Member Questions, Surveys, and provider of hospitality throughout the year. It’sI did. ALSD’s Premium Seat Sourcebook are simple our turn to give back, to allow you to renew The point: When you become a member of yet effective instruments that the ALSD uses and refresh. We’ve got beverages to whet youran association, tell someone. Tell your boss and to track industry activity. Your jobs demand whistle, LA Live to fuel your merrymaking, ayour colleagues; they will hold you accountable. most of your time and energy, but imagine the baseball game for some R&R and four awe-They will ask how the association can improve information we could collect if everyone took some venues to reenergize your year ahead.your venue’s bottom line and why you continue just a few minutes to answer each member Like training for a marathon, being part ofpaying renewals. Consent to have someone in- question, each survey and each year’s Premium an association results in a sense of accomplish-spect what they expect; it will encourage you to Seat Sourcebook questionnaire. It’s those few ment. It can become a passion and a sense ofseek out your membership’s value, learn more minutes of extra effort that could add up to a personal, or in this case, professional growth. Itand report back. truly comprehensive industry assessment in the takes a little extra time and a hell of a lot of ef- end. fort, but that’s the point. To remain status quoMap your run, but know there may be is contradictory to what this industry needs.snow along the way Run the hills Instead it needs collaboration and innovation;There’s a scenic course I love to run in the Running uphill sucks. There’s no way around it. isn’t it time for you to be part of an associationfair-weather months. But because this weekend But in the end, the rewards trump the pain. that can provide that?brought the typical Midwestern winter snow, that The point: You will learn something newroute was too frozen to risk. I had to find a new by participating in ALSD membership. Take Email Amanda at amanda@alsd.com.route and mercifully, it had a water fountain that something to your boss. Demand change www.alsd.com | WINTER 2011 | S E A T | 13
  12. 12. INduSTRy ANd ASSocIATIoN NEWS PSU Athletics STEP Up Seating Equity, p. 18 Member Highlight: Brian Byrnes, p. 22Suns find harmony between suites and social mediaSuite and Social Night packages target new, local partnershipsT he Phoenix Suns are leveraging a a social presence,” explains Medsker. “Therefore, dedicated and active fan base, which Suite and Social Night Package we created the Suite and Social Night packages to includes 275,000+ “likes” on Facebook Benefits: target new partners who are local and value social and 50,000+ “followers” on Twitter, to SuiTE NiGhT BENEfiTS: media.”attract new marketing partners and potential suite • 20 tickets Another benefit for prospective businesses isholders through their new Suite and Social Night • Six parking passes the opportunity to partially “outsource” theirpackages. The offerings target small, Phoenix-area • Catering package social media to the Suns. Most of the prospectsbusinesses that might not have the budget to • Suns hats and foam fingers for the Suite and Social Night do not have a fullygo out and purchase a TV, radio or print media • One Steve Nash jersey matured social media department or strategy. Nowadvertising package. “Not every business is a they can leverage the Suns prowess to get in the SoCial MEdia BENEfiTS:national brand with a large advertising budget,” social media game and develop a new element • Two Facebook status updates reaching 275,000+says Mandy Medsker, Digital Sales Executive for to their marketing mix. “The targeted businesses potential new customersthe Suns. “But at $7,000, we’re giving [Suite and • Three Twitter mentions reaching 50,000+ followers like the experience of a suite and may not beSocial Night customers] the option to get in and • An inclusion in the Suns eNewsletter reaching large enough to be able to have someone solelygrab a piece of the pie at an affordable rate.” 55,000+ fans dedicated to social media,” Medsker contends. The Suns are one of the first organizations to “Why not put the two together? No one hadbottle the social media lightning. They actively CoST: $7,000 thought of it that we knew of. So it was worth awork with current partners to connect their shot to try it.”brands with the Suns brand through social media The concept is still in its infancy. As with anyopportunities. Brands already utilizing the social progressive idea, it needs time to grow. “[Thestrength of the Suns include the Arizona Lottery, idea] hasn’t hit its stride yet. It’s definitely in theRight Guard, Southwest Airlines and Discount “We’ve had a lot of people trial stages. But the word is getting out,” saysTire. inquiring about the Trent Dutry, Premium Services Manager for the Working together with Geoff Budoff, Senior Suns. Proof of such traction comes from LittleDirector of the Suite Experience for the Suns, packages and had a lot of Debbie Snacks, who caught wind of the packageMedsker formulated a means for prospective busi- conversations with people and is implementing it during an upcoming tournesses to enjoy the suite experience for one event throughout the United States, which includes ain US Airways Center coupled with the ability we’ve never talked to stop in Phoenix. “Their reaction was very positive,to reach the Suns audience through its social before.” and they’re excited about it.”media channels. “We saw a lot of synergy in the “It’s starting to come around now,” echoestypes of businesses who purchase suites and have Medsker. “People are starting to see some press and are calling and wanting information on how they can be a part of it.” There are concerns. Fans are active with Suns social media to remain updated on news and information about the team and players, not necessarily to receive a promotional offer that may be perceived as spam. To safeguard themselves, the Suns feel they have found the appropriate strategy. “For any business who partners with us from a social media standpoint, we try to find an element to tie them into the team, so it has more of an organic feel to it,” Medsker says. A hypothetical example might be a Highlight Video of the Week brought to you by XYZ Partner. “So [the message] is still about the team, yet it’s tagging that partner in that status update.” Messages are sent from the Suns official Face- book and Twitter accounts by Jeramie McPeek,Extra Credit: Suite and Social Nights come with a food and beverage credit for the new Suns partner in their suite. [continued on page 76]14 | S E A T | WINTER 2011 | www.alsd.com
  13. 13. TO K E N S & I C O N S ...recycled nostalgiaTOKENS & ICONS offers inventive gifts crafted from gameused baseballs, stadium seating, arena basketball floor, evencracked game used bats. We work exclusively with real,existing materials that are filled with venue and team history.Audience participation... it all starts with your nostalgic artifact. tokens-icons.com 877-558-7404
  14. 14. INduSTRy ANd ASSocIATIoN NEWSuniversity of dayton arena flies RightALSD member venue to host NCAA First FourT he University of Dayton is a unique and proud institution. Despite being in the shadows of larger Ohio universities such asThe Ohio State University and the University ofCincinnati, UD is top-tier in terms of educa-tion and athletics. In recent years, Dayton Flyerteams to win conference championships includefootball, men’s and women’s soccer and vol-leyball. Further evidence of UD as a top NCAAmid-major athletic department is the University ofDayton Arena, home to Flyer men’s and women’sbasketball as well as a variety of premium seatingassets and an entertaining fan experience. And asESPN’s Mike Tirico has described the communityat large, “Dayton is one of the best college basket-ball towns in the country.” Lead by Senior Associate Athletic Director,Dave Harper, and Premium Seating Manager,Linda Couvion, UD’s premium seating inventorybrings in nearly $1 million in revenue annually tothe athletic department. While this number alone Bird’s Eye View: Premium seating at UD Arena sits right on top of each basket, providing unique vantage points of the court.  is impressive for a school with an enrollment of a little over 7,400, the positive effects of premium Dayton and those individuals can team on specific seat sales are not one dimensional. “[UD Arena] interests,” says Harper.“The food we’re serving provides us with not only a venue to entertain “We’re hosting the First Four [of the NCAA is different than most at corporations and those people in the community tournament], and a lot of the people in our pre- who are looking for a more premium experience, mium seating are members of the local organizing the intercollegiate level, but also a mechanism for us to build relationships committee,” Harper continues. “They’re looking because there’s not a lot of with them,” Harper points out. “This leads to a around and saying, ‘How can this be a great event multi-pronged rapport with these people, not only that positively impacts Dayton in several ways?’ places you go that you’re as a suite holder but also as a donor and someone There are a lot of good discussions, and the uni- eating carved meat and who wants to support the program.” versity seizes opportunities to host these meetings With eight suites, 28 courtside press row seats, with business owners and community leaders.” salads in your seat.” 54 Flyer Front Row seats located directly behind Due to continued high-level customer service press row and 102 loge seats located in the Time and efficient game-day operations, UD has part- Warner Flight Deck, the venue does not want for nered with the NCAA since 2001 by hosting the premium options. While several of these areas are play-in game of the men’s basketball tournament. consistently sold out annually, others are offered This partnership expands in 2011 as the NCAA on a per-event basis or as 3-5 game packages. recently awarded the University of Dayton Arena Controlling inventory of multiple options and with the aforementioned First Four of the 2011 lease terms can be an arduous task but is one that NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Because the Couvion takes on with a smile. “It’s like putting a NCAA increased the tournament field from 65 to puzzle together trying to get everything organized 68 teams, there will now be eight teams visiting for every single game. I literally map out every- Dayton instead of two. UD Arena suite and loge thing we do.” seat holders have first right of refusal for the event. Because recreational and civic options for resi- In conjunction with NCAA stipulations, the dents in southwest Ohio are minimal in the win- arena recently upgraded their corner video boards ter, there is a perfect opportunity for University of to 12 x 22 feet HD screens, costing $1.6 million. Dayton basketball to bond with the community Adjacent to the newly placed video boards is the to identify and achieve mutual goals. “There are aptly named Time Warner Flight Deck. GracedLearn, Lead, Serve: UD Arena premium seating embodies the people that sit in those seats that are philanthropic with the previously referenced 102 loge seats,mission of the entire university, growing from, setting an example with the Dayton community, and it’s important the Time Warner Flight Deck not only providesfor and serving the community of Dayton. to create conversations on how the University of [continued on page 76]16 | S E A T | WINTER 2011 | www.alsd.com
  15. 15. INduSTRy ANd ASSocIATIoN NEWSPenn State empowers seat holders as part of STEP PlanIOMEDIA’s Virtual Venue™ assists with seat selection in Beaver StadiumA s part of a two-phase project, dubbed Seat Transfer & Equity Plan (STEP), the Penn State University Athletic Department isreconfiguring the seating sections in 107,282-seatBeaver Stadium, the second largest in the country.Through STEP, Penn State is overhauling itsold method of assigning seats, one in which thelocation of seats had little connection to the seatholder’s donation level within the Nittany LionClub. “The Nittany Lion Club was first set upwhere if you wanted tickets, you just had to paythe minimum donation,” explains Bob White,Director of Suites and Club Seats at Penn State.“And if you happened to be in the system in theearly years with tickets on the 50-yard line, then Virtual Sanity: As part of its STEP plan, PSU Athletics will no longer assign seats. More logically, seat holders will now select seats themselvesthe minimum donation was enough for you to online.keep those seats.” Starting next season, the amount to retain seats majority of people are choosing to stay on board. Penn State Athletics away from a period of assign-is going up. In order for seat holders to stay in “Obviously a perfect 100 is always great, but ing seats to one in which the seat holders them-their current locations, they must now annually anytime you’re in the 90th percentile, it’s a good selves are able to select seats on their own. “Nowdonate the amount correlating to that seating thing,” White concedes. all of a sudden, as a customer, I’m able to selectsection. “It is an equitable thing to do,” White Approximately 30% of the stadium seating seats that I like, and not just sit at home with mycontends. “We are giving people the opportunity will not involve a requisite additional donation. fingers crossed hoping I get a seat assigned I like,”to sit in prime seats that are willing to pay to have These seats are not exempt from contribution, says Myford.them.” but Penn State Athletics is not increasing the IOMEDIA’s Virtual Venue™ has brought other donation on these seats from the current $100 ancillary benefits, including a compare feature, per seat minimum. “Not all seats are impacted,” seasonal and day/night views. Online visitors are“fans can choose their clarifies Greg Myford, Associate Athletic Director able to look at various seating views and compare definition of a ‘best’ game- of Business Relations & Communications at Penn where they currently sit side-by-side with seating State. “Many fans will not be required to make an locations they are considering moving to. Views day experience before they increased donation.” are constructed right down to the location of the have to buy it, ensuring STEP does not involve Beaver Stadium’s suite sun and the shade for all possible dates and times, holders, who are exempt from paying Nittany whether it is a four o’clock game in September they get exactly what they Lion Club dues on top of the cost of their suite or a noon game in November. “It’s those kinds of want.” agreement; however, suite holders do receive Nit- things that we might not think about on the sur- tany Lion Club points and Club status based on face,” Myford suggests. “But when it comes down their agreement. Club seats do require a Nittany to making sure our fans are comfortable in their The first part of STEP, completed last fall, was Lion Club contribution in addition to a Club Seat seats, whether they are sitting in the sun or shadea transfer period. If a seat holder had tickets and License Fee. So STEP only applies to premium can be a big difference. Our fans are reacting verydid not wish to keep them, they had the option to seat customers if they own premium seats as well positively to those kinds of things.”transfer them to another friend or family member, as seats in the general seating bowl, or their pre- The technology platform also provides one ofas long as one of the two accounts paid a transfer mium seats are located on the club level. the most advanced 360° 3D-seating applicationsfee. The temporary period marked the first time To assist with the prodigious task of fans select- available. And because IOMEDIA is partneredPenn State seat holders had the option to give ing from over 100,000 seats, Penn State is turning with Ticketmaster, the application allows for one-up their seats to anyone outside of a spouse or to IOMEDIA. Digital instruments created by stop fan transactions. “Core to the technology isimmediate family member. There is no set time IOMEDIA to assist the athletic department a robust set of features that allows fans to interactto repeat the transfer phase, but “we have left include an interactive intentions survey, Virtual with venues in the most engaging way possible,”ourselves open to that option,” says White. Venue™ technology platform as well as integra- explains Peter Korian, President /Founder of Once the transfer period was over, the current tion with Ticketmaster’s back-end technology to IOMEDIA. “Fans can choose their definition of aequity phase came into play, where there is now a provide detailed views, information and pricing ‘best’ game-day experience before they have to buycorrelation between the location of a seat and the for each seat through a user-friendly interface. it, ensuring they get exactly what they want.”donation required to obtain rights to that seat. The introduction of technology into the cus- Because the incorporation of technology intoThe renewal rate for STEP is over 90%, so the tomer side of the seat selection process is moving [continued on page 76]18 | S E A T | WINTER 2011 | www.alsd.com
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  17. 17. INduSTRy ANd ASSocIATIoN NEWSon alSd.CoMoRiGiNal CoNTENTThE METRodoME aNd iTS EffECTSBy Amanda VerhoffALSD presents a comprehensive recap of the situ-ation that unfolded at the Metrodome recently,written with the intention to be distributed tovarious departments within your organization.www.alsd.com/content/metrodome-and-its-effectsuP-To-ThE-MiNuTEiNduSTRY aNd aSSoCiaTioN CoNfERENCE NEWS fRoM faCEBookNEWS www.alsd.com/content/conference http://www.facebook.com/pages/association-www.alsd.com/news of-luxury-Suite-directors/112032714717 2011 alSd CoNfERENCE aNd TRadE-TWo BuNkER CluB louNGES PaRT of ShoW SChEdulE of EvENTS alSd oN loCaTioN: oklahoMa CiTY, okSuPERdoME RENovaTioN www.alsd.com/content/announcing-2011-The $85 million renovation will bring Saints fans alsd-conference-and-tradeshow-la-live-0closer to the action and maintain the Superdomeas a viable host of big events such as the SuperBowl.www.alsd.com/content/two-bunker-club-lounges-part-superdome-renovationSuNS TiP-off SEaSoN TiCkET RENEWalCaMPaiGN WiTh BEvY of iNCENTivESThree renewed STH are guaranteed to win $10Kin return for retaining seats.www.alsd.com/content/suns-tip-season-ticket- Feet on the Floor: Courtside view of Oklahoma City Arena.renewal-campaign-bevy-incentivesuNlv iN TalkS To Build oN-CaMPuS LA LIVE, site of the 21st Annual ALSD Conference and Tradeshow. alSd oN loCaTioN: daYToN, ohSTadiuM aNd ENTERTaiNMENT CoMPlExThe project includes a possible public-private alSd hoST hoTEl iNfoRMaTioNpartnership with Ed Roski and Craig Cavileer. http://www.alsd.com/content/alsd-host-hotel- information-1www.alsd.com/content/unlv-talks-build-cam-pus-stadium-and-entertainment-complexdETailS of SuPER BoWl xlv PlazaPaRTY PaCkaGESPackages offered to Cowboys club seat holders forSBXLV were priced at $200 per ticket. Groundcrew: Ryan, Jared and Amanda in the Time Warner Cablewww.alsd.com/content/details-super-bowl- Flight Deck of UD Arena. xlv-plaza-party-packages20 | S E A T | WINTER 2011 | www.alsd.com
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  19. 19. INduSTRy ANd ASSocIATIoN NEWS: ALSd MEMbER HIgHLIgHTA Conversation with Brian Byrnes, Senior Vice President,Sales and Marketing, Oklahoma City ThunderBy Jared Frank, Editor, SEAT MagazineO klahoma City is not Brian Byrnes’ first not only were we Stanley Cup Champions on rodeo. Aided considerably by a wealth the ice, but off the ice we were league leaders in of experience associated with starting attendance and revenue performance. We were aorganizations and arenas from scratch, he is help- model franchise for the NHL in a non-traditionaling to mold the Oklahoma City Thunder into a market. Who knew that 15 years later that wouldmodel NBA franchise in only their third season. pay dividends in Oklahoma City.Speaking with Brian while sitting with my feeton the floor of the Oklahoma City Arena, I am SEAT: Most of us also won’t be lucky enough tohumbled by his modest demeanor as he shares his open up one new facility. Brian, you have openedstory with me and his obvious aptitude for selling up two and really three if you count Oklahomasports and entertainment. City Arena. Tell me about those experiences. A senior level executive before the age of 40, Byrnes: After we opened up the American AirlinesBrian Byrnes is a pro in every sense of the word. Center, I was recruited with some other folks toPay attention to what he has to say. join the NHL franchise in Phoenix. I worked for the Phoenix Coyotes and helped open upSEAT: What hobby do you have that you’re pas- Glendale Arena (now Jobing.com Arena). Dallassionate about? and Phoenix were two terrific experiences on myByrnes: My wife and I have always loved to travel. career path. Then I was recruited to go to SeattleWe have a young son now and another child to work for the NBA franchise. Now things inon the way. So our lifestyle is becoming a little Seattle did not turn out as we initially thoughtsimpler. We’re raising our kids and really enjoying they would. But things happen for a reason. We’rebeing parents. Travel is still something we enjoy. here in Oklahoma City now, much closer to myWe also love to play golf and get outdoors. But family in Fort Worth. So on a personal level, I feelwe’re really focused on raising a family now. incredibly blessed to be in Oklahoma City. And on a professional level, I’m getting to do a lot ofSEAT: Are you brave enough to share your the same things and more that I thought I washandicap? "We were a model franchise going to get to do by making the move to Seattle.Byrnes: [Laughing] I would say it’s gotten con- for the NHL in a non- I’m a part of a brand new franchise, building ansiderably worse over the last couple years. I think identity from scratch, laying what will be themy 12 has become an 18 due to lack of time, but traditional market. Who foundation for a sustainable franchise in the NBAI still love to play. knew that 15 years later for many, many years to come and renovating a building on par with building a new arena. So thisSEAT: Where did you grow up? that would pay dividends is the perfect confluence of career opportunity,Byrnes: I was born on Long Island, New York. quality of life and personal enjoyment. All thingsI moved to Fort Worth, Texas when I was in in Oklahoma City." came together for me in Oklahoma City in a reallyelementary school. So I was essentially raised in positive way.Texas. Junior High, High School, College and thefirst 12 years of my professional career were all in SEAT: Do you have a few words of wisdom or ad-Texas. SEAT: Most of us will never know what it’s like to vice you can offer your peers relating to achieving start a brand from scratch. Can you give us a bit success in this business and in life?SEAT: Where did you go to college? Rumor has of insight into the thrill of that process? Byrnes: I had a boss once that used to remindit, you were a pretty good baseball player in your Byrnes: I was a part of the original Dallas Stars me that “effort is nice, but achievement counts”day? front office staff in 1993. So at a very young and “what you measure, you accomplish.” It’s aByrnes: I played baseball at St. Mary’s University and impressionable time in my career, I learned reminder that it’s a results-oriented business. It’sin San Antonio. I grew up playing baseball and a lot about how a franchise is born. I learned about being accountable; it’s about paying atten-basketball. And I was good enough and fortunate about everything from unpacking the boxes from tion to the details and recognizing that our effortenough to play baseball in college. Ironically, it the relocated Minnesota franchise to going out is directly tied to the growth of the business.was my coach who directed us to have “jobs” in door-to-door and introducing ourselves to theaddition to being student-athletes to instill a sense community. I learned how to build value, createof responsibility, which resulted in an internship engaging relationships, operate and manage awith the San Antonio Spurs that lit my fire for this start-up franchise. That was the foundation that Ibusiness. was born into. We built the Dallas Stars franchise into maybe one of the most iconic NHL fran- chises by the end of the decade. By 1999-2000,22 | S E A T | WINTER 2011 | www.alsd.com
  20. 20. MeMbership ALsD MeMbership Dues structure: New MeMbers: Join September 1 – December 31: Membership good until following September 1 Join January 1 – August 31: Membership good until September 1 of following year Renewals are billed out annually on September 1 MeMbership cAtegories preMiuM seAtiNg professioNALs froM teAM, VeNue, or iN-VeNue f&b coMpANy: Ex. Director, Premium Seating, Green Bay Packers“With a new arena just around the corner, attending the • Charter Member: First Member from Team or Venue: $395/yearALSD Conference the past few years became a valuable tool • Affiliate Member(s): Additional Member(s) from Team or Venue:in making decisions regarding the design and operations of $125/yearvarious premium seating areas. Whether we were networking preMiuM seAtiNg professioNAL froM fooD AND beVerAgewith premium professionals, touring a new sports facility, or heADquArters:speaking with one of a variety of vendors, we brought back Ex. Regional Vice President, Sodexo Corporate (does not work in-venue)thoughts and ideas to share with our organization that were • Corporate Member: $300/year per member, for first four membersinvaluable to our decision making process. Just don’t tell my • Corporate Member: $125/year per member, for additional membersboss a lot of the networking took place at the free parties.” over four --Mike Guiffre, Director of Premium Seating, VeNDor/suppLier coMpANy professioNAL: Pittsburgh Penguins Ex. Sales Manager, Boundless Network • Vendor/Supplier Member: $500/year total, for up to four members • Vendor/Supplier Member: $125/year per member, for additional members over four JoiN Now: _____ Team Venue: Charter Member: $395 _____ Team Venue: Affiliate Member: $125/each _____ Corporate Member: $300/each, for members one-four _____ Corporate Member: $125/each, for fifth member and on _____ Vendor/Supplier Member: $500/company, for members one-four _____ Vendor/Supplier Member: $125/each, for fifth member and on PAyMENT: TOTAL: $____________ Person Joining (Repeat form for additional members): Name: __________________________________________________________ Title: ___________________________________________________________for More iNforMAtioN or to subMit Organization: ____________________________________________________ Address: ________________________________________________________forMs coNtAct: City, State, Zip: ___________________________________________________Association of Luxury suite Directors Phone: __________________________ E-mail: _________________________Amanda Verhoff10017 McKelvey Road METhOD OF PAyMENT:Cincinnati, Oh 45231 _____ Check made payable to: ALSD or Association of Luxury Suite DirectorsP: 513-674-0555 x104 _____ AmEx _____ MC _____ Visa _____ DiscoverF: 513-674-0577 Card Number: ____________________________________________________E: Amanda@alsd.com Expiration Date: ________________www.ALSD.com Cardholder Name: ________________________________________________ Cardholder Signature: _____________________________________________23 | S E A T | FALL 2010 | www.alsd.com
  21. 21. INduSTRy ANd ASSocIATIoN NEWS: ALSd MEMbER VENuE HIgHLIgHTUnearthing a Secret City and Introducing the Renovated Oklahoma City Arena:OKC- The Intersection of Pride and HumilityWhat do you think of when I say New York? Images that come to mind are things like the Empire State Building,the Statue of Liberty and the Big Apple. How about LA? You might envision the sun, the surf or Hollywood. Now, what do you think of when I say Oklahoma City? Well, whatever you are thinking, I promise you thereis much more than that concealed in this hidden jewel.By Jared Frank with Brian ByrnesT he story of the Oklahoma City Thunder be- paid attention to. “Hip” flew under the radar into OKC. Added over the next decade was a canal and gins with the story of Oklahoma itself. The OKC, and now the city is a vibrant admixture of Triple-A baseball ballpark in the Bricktown En- State of Oklahoma has an “un-settled” his- western heritage and urban culture. tertainment District, renovations to the conven-tory. Its formation and namesake are both derived The impetus for change came in 1991 when a tion center and a new arena among many otherlargely from the influence of Native Americans, bid to build a United Airlines (UA) maintenance improvements. We will get to the arena shortly. Itwho were relocated to the territory’s “Unassigned facility that would have provided 5,000 jobs came ended up being kind of a big deal.Lands” throughout much of the 19th Century. It down to OKC and Indianapolis. Indianapolis won Let’s put this in perspective. Oklahoma iswas not until 1889 during the “The Land Run”, the bid. UA’s reasoning? “We didn’t want our em- as red as a red state gets. All 77 counties bledwhere the city literally was born from the firing of ployees to have to live in Oklahoma City.” Ouch. GOP red in the last Presidential election. Toa cannon, that Oklahoma City was even settled. That’s a splash of ice cold water. What happened pass a multi-billion dollar tax initiative in such aAnd Oklahoma was not even admitted to the to the pride that the city was founded upon? The conservative environment is out of character. SoUnion until 1907, the 46th State to do so. So to Homesteaders were turning over in their graves. clearly, OKC is uniquely forward-thinking whilea degree, OKC was a land of late arrivals. But to a Fortunately, the political authority at the time embracing conservative values.much grander measure, this was the land of fresh seized the moment as one of transformation. Since the passage of MAPS, the city hasbeginnings and big dreams for many Americans, Shortly after the UA episode, Oklahoma Citians continually advanced its investment in itself. Atincluding the Homesteaders, the Boomers and the pooled their money when the city passed the present, Project 180 is redeveloping 180 acres ofSooners, whose birthright remains rich in explora- Metropolitan Area Projects (MAPS), a massive re- downtown OKC. Part of this renovation is thetion and entrepreneurism. definition penny sales tax increase. MAPS rebuilt erection of Devon Tower, the future home of Oklahoma City is still, and always will be, Devon Energy (Fortune #261) and the secondthe American frontier. It continues to celebrate “When you get [to tallest skyscraper currently under constructionits pioneers, conduct business in one of the only in the U.S., trailing only the Freedom Tower inremaining working stockyards and serve Lamb Oklahoma City], you realize New York City. Moreover, MAPS has grown byFries at Cattlemen’s Steakhouse. It is the Horse an additional two iterations. MAPS 3 passed inShow Capital of the World. So the influence of there’s a special story being 2009, continuing the reinvention of the city. “Thethe Old West is permanently ingrained into the told right now.” people of Oklahoma City have decided over andway of life. But something has happened over the over again to do something to make this a placepast 20 years that not many in the country have – Brian Byrnes, Oklahoma City Thunder they really want to be,” says Sue Hollenbeck, As- sistant Director of Sports Business Development at the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We sustain our momentum, because we believe in our city.” The fruits of all these efforts were recently realized when Boeing announced it is moving its Long Beach location to Oklahoma City. Maybe they will design jets for United Airlines. That would be “coming full-circle” defined. But there is still a misguided opinion from outsiders who have never been to OKC. There are still perceptions and pre-conceived notions to overcome. “All I ask is for one day,” states Hol- lenbeck. “If you can give me that, I can make you fall in love with Oklahoma City.” THe PerfeCT STOrm COmeS TO OKC Oklahoma City’s NBA team really is the peal of thunder heard after the lightning of the MAPS tax. The success of the Thunder and Oklahoma City Arena can only be fully understood in the context of the larger story. Besides the abovemen-A River Runs Through It: The Riverwind Casino Terrace Lounge bends through Oklahoma City Arena, which has earned the nickname “Loud tioned tacit civic pride, OKC is a sports townCity” because of its passionate fans.24 | S E A T | WINTER 2011 | www.alsd.com

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