Luxury Seating Is Not As Out of Your Reach As You Think

Posted by Kurt Smith on Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Have you ever sat in the outer reaches of the ballpark and looked on the people sitting in front of the suite windows, and wondered why they’re there and you’re in the nosebleeds? Or conversely, have you ever actually been lucky enough to be in the suite itself, enjoying all of the food, drinks and private bathroom, courtesy of your employer? I have, if only on a couple of occasions, and I can say it’s a wonderful way to see a ballgame. 

Luxury seating has become as much a part of baseball as natural grass, and it’s no small part of the reason that new facilities are springing up everywhere in the country. Teams bring in large amounts of money for offering the privilege of padded seats, counters, a room with a hi-def TV where wives can gather or fans can duck out of the weather, and a private entrance.

In some ballparks, like in Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park, this privilege comes at a very premium price, with the knowledge that the team will have no problem selling out the premium seating regardless of the amount of money a group will have to fork over. These areas may really be out of the reach of any Joe or Jane Fan without any connections. Not suggesting otherwise here.

But very often, in places like Milwaukee or Pittsburgh, you can rent a suite or a party area with extras like catered food and drinks for a price in the neighborhood of $100 a person. For a padded seat with a good view, free food (which at the ballpark can really add up), some parking passes, a private bathroom and a place to duck out of the elements, that isn’t bad at all. The trick is, of course, getting a group together to rent a party area for a game.

Most of the people you see in the luxury suites aren’t corporate CEOs. They’re people who have a generous employer or are related to clients a company might be entertaining. In places like New York or Philadelphia, the suites are owned by corporations, but many teams have suites available for individual games. Can make a heck of a party if you know enough people with the means.

And many teams allow access to a climate-controlled club area just by buying a Club level ticket; these tickets may cost a few bucks more but you’ll have access to a lounge and better food than found in the upper level concourses.

I’m torn on whether these are worth the cost—the food isn’t thrown in with the price, so it may only be worthwhile on heavy weather days for the nicer, less crowded indoor concourse.

I’m a tightwad, so I generally don’t pay for extra privileges at the ballgame. But if you’re a tad envious of the people in the luxury seating, it doesn’t hurt to take a look at a team’s website and see what they offer for groups or even for individuals. You might be surprised.


Tags: premium seating  tickets 
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