We are currently working on renewing our suites and have been asked by existing owners if we would lower ticket prices for suites. These ticket prices would be cheaper than loge boxes and club seats. Would anyone have experience with this or input on pros vs. cons of moving in this direction?
No. We bumped our prices on our five-year deals, ending at the end of the 2014 season, by $5K and offered an early bird renewal incentive of a $3K increase. This effectively saves them $10K over the next five years. Plus, we gave a $1,000 food credit during the 2014 season. So far, so good. No one asked for a price decrease or scoffed at the increase, and only one suite canceled out of the nine five-year deals we have.
We charge $125K for our suites annually, and that includes 12 tickets (out of 20) for every show. The rest (8), we offer at the lowest price established by promoters, which varies per show and per configuration. Sometimes we let them buy extras, but that depends on what's available from the promoter's inventory at the time of purchase. We've never given extra discounts or included more than 12 tickets on the package, and it has worked. We've had many clients (old and new) ask for more tickets, but we haven't given them, and it has not cost us a deal yet. You may want to review your extra perks, such as activities and gifts. We have also done negotiations regarding extra parking spots and some F&B credits.
We typically price our suite and club seat tickets the same for our events. We don't have loge boxes, but I'm sure we would price accordingly if we did. The ticket price for the suite and club seat tickets is always the price of our upper 200 level tickets. We have used this system for over ten years and haven't had any issues.
We price the SRO seats in our suites according to the price of the seats directly in front of them. This keeps things consistent, and clients can understand the pricing structure; it is not random.
I would argue the suite tickets hold even more value than the seats directly in front of them; they cannot be purchased by anyone aside from the suite owner/renter, they are only available in very limited quantities, and they generally include more amenities/benefits than a regular seat. I think that if you lower the price of a suite ticket, you are diminishing the value of what a suite can do. You simply cannot entertain/interact with people in seats the way that you can in a suite. Holding prices makes sense, but I think you tread into some dangerous waters when you start lowering prices.