The Raiders released an online survey to select season ticket holders in an effort to determine interest in different pricing options at a future stadium. When teams start to consider developing a new venue, it’s not uncommon to see some kind of outreach as far as five years out. The New York Giants famously burned through their once impressive waiting list in the run-up to MetLife Stadium. Then there’s the Raiders, who have around 30,000 season ticket holders, don’t have the luxury of a waiting list. With the team struggling on the field, fans could be price-sensitive.
The diagram above doesn’t look exactly like any one stadium, perhaps on purpose. It’s there to illustrate specific seating locations and potential amenities for each tier. No assumption should be made about the stadium’s design based on the diagram. The team anticipates having multiple club levels which they call “Prime Seats”, and different types of suite and box options.
Lower Level Prime Seats (Sidelines):
– Blue highlighted areas in hypothetical seating map above
– Prime seats could be wider and have more legroom than typical stadium seating
– Excellent sightlines to the field
– Access to a VIP club lounge with upscale food and beverage options
Mezzanine Level Seats:
– Red highlighted areas in hypothetical seating map
– Same seat comforts, amenities and access as lower level Prime seats, but located further from the field
Loge Boxes (or Mini-Suites):
– Loge boxes are open-air boxes (similar to an opera box) that are typically located at the top of the lower seating bowl (or on the mezzanine level, also known as
the “Club Level” or “Suite Level” in many professional stadiums).
– Loge boxes seat approximately four (4) to eight (8) people and feature comfortable chairs and a counter for food/beverages.
– In the hypothetical map above, loge boxes could be located at the top of the blue sections and/or in the front of the red mezzanine level, with excellent sightlines
to the field.
– Three types of luxury suites could be available:
1) Traditional Luxury Suites located on the mezzanine level (area in red above);
2) Field Level Suites located on the field level with unique sightlines just feet from team benches and players; and,
3) Owner’s Club Suites located adjacent to the owner’s suite in the best suite locations in the stadium (at the top of the lower level, close to the 50-yard line) with
access to the owner’s private all-inclusive club area.
– Luxury suites would have the highest level of seat comforts, amenities and access of any seating option in the stadium.
Just because the survey shows all of these premium options doesn’t mean they’ll all be offered in the end. While we can count on the usual types of suites and at least one club level, the mini-suite concept (similar to what the Earthquakes are offering) isn’t commonplace. Field suites are popular where they’re deployed (Dallas, Seattle, New York, Indy) but they’ll only be offered if there’s a market for them.
The survey also presented respondents with different prices for tickets and seat licenses. That’s right, they may be offering seat licenses again, which makes sense simply because the stadium is going to be so expensive that every effort should be made to take care of debt as early as possible. Under consideration is a seat license plan that is paid off in three years, with the final payment due before the stadium opens. The survey uses the term “Stadium Builders License”, which combined with some of the imagery used in each page leads me to believe that the questions were put together by Legends, the Yankees/Cowboys-owned firm that marketed the 49ers stadium’s tickets and seat licenses. Legends has carved out a pretty good niche in a fairly short period, having built up a lot of experience since their maiden efforts for their owners’ 2009 venues.
Outreach efforts will be key for two reasons. There’s the obvious gauge of demand for certain pricing levels and potential for SBL commitment. This information is important to all parties, including the NFL and Oakland/Alameda County because there needs to be a solid determination of a new Raiders stadium’s feasibility based on advance revenues. If debt service runs $40-50 million per year, the Raiders will need to prove they can pull in $100 million per year in order to get approval from the NFL and loans from banks. If not, they may be advised to pursue other alternatives such as a Coliseum renovation (see: Buffalo).
No questions were posed about the site, the potential for a dome, or the size of the stadium. With such a narrow focus, it’d be foolish to infer anything from the survey besides the aforementioned questions about pricing. That said, these prices are certain to be much more expensive than the recently slashed Coliseum prices. The current Coliseum pricing structure has a single bargain basement, $25 per game price for the entire third deck. The survey had the price for upper deck, 20-yard-line seats at $60 per game. Mezzanine club seats were priced as high as $200 per game (for 10 games) plus a $4,500 or $7,500 SBL fee. Will the market bear higher prices and SBLs for a new Raiders stadium? We’ll find out fairly soon.