The Dallas Morning News' Mark Francescutti has an excellent article today outlining the success teams are having by doing something counter-intuitive. Slashing prices. The Mavs are obviously the centerpiece, with this money quote from Mark Cuban:
"Bottom line is that the upper bowl is becoming a smaller and smaller part of our total revenue," owner Mark Cuban wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "So we would rather have a full house than make a couple dollars more. More fans means a better home-court advantage, it means a better fan experience, which in turn means more sales."
The reason that the Mavs can make those kind of cuts is because the modern arena economy is now dependent on corporate suites and club seating. By focusing on those tickets, it allows the teams to fill out the big house.
This is why so many owners are requesting new arenas (outside of sheer greed). The modern economy has shifted to a sleeker, more efficient model and many older arenas are simply not fitted to that model.
Which brings us to the case of Indianapolis versus Kansas City. We told you yesterday about the Pacers potentially being sold for dirt cheap (that's right, $230 million is cheap in what we're talking about). One of the reasons a potential owner may want to relocate the team is because of the way the arena is configured.
Conseco Fieldhouse has 66 luxury suites. To put that in perspective, American Airlines Center in Dallas has 144 suites. Geez. Even smaller markets like the Rose Garden in Portland has 70 suites. Arco Arenas is severely behind with only 30 suites, one of the reason a new arena is a major issue in Sacramento. The Toyota Center in Houston has 80 suites.