Luxury box or luxury suite is the North American term for a special seating section in arenas, stadiums and other sports venues. In the United Kingdom and Australia the terms used are corporate box, executive box, sky box and private box. They are typically in the mid-section of the stadium, affording the best views of the sporting event. Some have glass panels that can be retracted, in order for the spectators to feel closer to the action of the sporting event. The inside of a luxury box typically includes a bar, several televisions sets, a row of seats and a private bathroom. The boxes are usually catered, with guests enjoying corporate hospitality, champagne, canapés, shrimp and sushi being common favorites. The lease to a box also comes with a personal parking space, and a private entrance..
Most luxury boxes are leased by contract on a yearly basis, though some are bought in a manner similar to that for a condominium. These methods usually grant access to the box by the leaseholder or owner for every event held at the venue. A few stadiums rent them on a per-event basis. Prices vary from US$5,000 up to the millions of dollars.
Luxury boxes are a significant source of revenue for most professional sports teams and stadium owners. Therefore, teams often want to build new stadiums so that they can have more luxury boxes. Many new additions to college football stadiums have come with luxury boxes, producing additional income for the schools.
Luxury boxes that are rented on a single event basis can range from $250.00 to up to at least $250,000.00 for the entire box depending on the event and the stadium or arena. Also the location of the box and how many people the box can hold usually makes up the price.
Standing room only (SRO) tickets may also be purchased at an additional fee but are usually less money than an actual suite ticket. If a normal suite ticket with a seat costs $500 per ticket then SRO tickets might be around $250–$300 per ticket. SRO tickets will allow more people in your suite, but they won't have seats and will have to stand in the suite or sit in the lounge area.
Effect on general seatingEdit
Some have commented that the rise of the luxury box, along with club seating, has degraded the game-day experience for the average fan, because placement of the boxes has moved the upper decks higher and farther away from the playing surface. Two venues, Ford Field and Philips Arena, have addressed these concerns by placing all luxury boxes on one side of the playing surface; this allows the other sides of the venue to have closer sightlines than modern stadiums.
The stadium with the most luxury boxes is the Estadio Monumental "U" in Lima, Peru with 1,251. The first stadium to contain a luxury box was the Astrodome in Houston, Texas, built in 1965. One unique set of luxury boxes is located on the campus of Boston College. The school's main indoor arena, Conte Forum (also known as Kelley Rink for hockey games), is directly attached to its football venue, Alumni Stadium. Some of the luxury boxes in the combined complex overlook both the stadium's playing field and the arena floor.
Luxury boxes have become a feature of the major professional sports league system in North America.
Use in the NFLEdit
Most notable in their use of luxury boxes is the National Football League. Under the NFL's current revenue sharing agreement, teams must forfeit a large portion of their ticket revenues so that the funds can be redistributed among all the teams, particularly those in smaller markets. However, the luxury boxes, quickly becoming a top source of revenue for the franchises, were exempted from this sharing requirement. Because of this as well as the NFL's blackout rule, there has been a rush in recent years to sacrifice seating capacity in favor of the luxury boxes, and teams have pressed state and local governments for financial assistance to either build new stadiums or renovate older venues. These new stadiums and renovations generally cost hundreds of millions of dollars; the two newest NFL stadiums, Cowboys Stadium and New Meadowlands Stadium, each cost over $1 billion.
The luxury box conundrum is one of the reasons why Los Angeles, which has two older stadiums (the Rose Bowl and the LA Coliseum) that both seat over 90,000 but contain few luxury boxes, still does not have an NFL franchise 14 years after both the Rams and Raiders departed in 1995.