Mock-up of arena suite shows 'wow' factor, marketer says

2011-11-26T08:00:00Z 2011-12-06T11:45:17Z Mock-up of arena suite shows 'wow' factor, marketer saysBy NANCY HICKS / Lincoln Journal Star JournalStar.com
November 26, 2011 8:00 am  • 

What you notice first when you enter the arena suite is the glittering table.

Its hammered copper top is both glamorous and useful.

And flexible, says Ben Wrigley with CSL Marketing.

Hoisted on casters, it can serve as a table for eating, an island for preparing food or a buffet for serving.

And the chairs that surround the table and the adjacent bar are made so that the body tilts slightly forward, encouraging socializing, he points out.

The suite in Wrigley's Haymarket office is a mock-up of the 36 suites to be included in the West Haymarket arena, with the furniture, the color scheme and the kitchen equipment that will be installed in the real suites, which lease for $45,000 to $65,000 a year.

And sales are going well, according to Wrigley.

He's sold 17 -- either contracts or commitments -- of the 30 suites he has on the market. The other six suites are for use by either the city of Lincoln or the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

This model was developed to help sell not only the suites but the loge boxes and club seats planned for the arena, Wrigley said.

It provides the touch and feel of the more expensive seating areas.

"It's the wow factor," he said.

Wrigley also will soon have a scale model of the arena in his Haymarket office, with a removable roof so you can see the arena bowl and seating areas.

The model of the suite also helps designers work out any bugs -- chairs that screech when moved, for example. The actual bar stools likely will have felt or rubber added on the feet to soften the noise.

The suites are designed for socializing, with three separate seating areas.

"We have flipped the conventional suite design," which generally has the kitchen-food area as you enter, with formal seating in the center, Wrigley said.

In these suites, the formal area is at the rear (where you enter the suite), with the refrigerator, counter and table in the center.

That allows for a more quiet area in the back, Wrigley said.

The more formal area includes a loveseat and four chairs in ivory leather.

Suite owners will be able to add their personal touch -- pictures or company insignia -- on the walls.

But the basics -- the furniture and color scheme -- will be the same in each suite, Wrigley said.

The suite lease includes 12 tickets to most arena events with the option to purchase four additional tickets.

In each suite there are 12 extra-wide exterior seats; a drink rail inside the suite with four bar stools, under-counter refrigerator, buffet counter, wet bar, flat-screen television with in-house feed and cable access, storage cabinets and coat and storage closets.

Suite amenities also include four parking passes in an adjacent garage; a private arena entrance, access to private restrooms and access to the premium level lounge.

Also available is concierge service and a suite attendant.

Reach Nancy Hicks at 402-473-7250 or nhicks@journalstar.com.

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