Monday, February 06, 2017

How many suites does the Barclays Center have? "more than 90," after The Vault was converted

So, how many suites does the Barclays Center have? The number is actually a bit fuzzy, but the history is this:
  • 170: a significantly overoptimistic number in December 2006 (before arena was named)
  • 130: a reduction in May 2008, while it was still a Frank Gehry arena
  • 100: a reduction in September 2009, after the arena was redesigned and downsized
  • 105: a slight increase in December 2009, as arena bonds were sold
  • 104: a tweak down in March 2010 upon arena groundbreaking
  • 101: a tweak down in September 2012 for arena ribbon-cutting
  • 90 or 94(?): a decrease after The Vault was converted to the Billboard Lounge
  • 90: number reported in an August 2016 report to potential bond buyers upon refinancing
  • 96: number reported in a separate part of document presented to bond buyers
  • "more than 90": current number presented
So what's the discrepancy? Apparently, the new Billboard Lounge "studios" are also referred to as suites.

Then again, the 11 suites once in The Vault arguably didn't qualify as suites, which are supposed to be private spaces including seats. Associating lower bowl tickets with a "suite," as with both The Vault and the Billboard Lounge "studios" is stretching it. So the arena operators--no surprise--have been a bit slippery.

December 2006, from KPMG report: 170


Was this number realistic?

Note that KPMG suggested that, "[g]iven the competitiveness of the market, both the total number of suites and the average price per suite... appear to be on the high end." Perhaps that was the numbers was cut within two years.

May 2008, from Forest City Ratner press release: 130

The press release did not acknowledge that this was a decrease in number of suites from previous estimates.

But this wasn't the only change: the arena would be downsized in November 2008, with a new architect, Ellerbe Becket, and later a new "skin" designed by SHoP.

September 2009, from Barclays Center press release announcing new architects: 100

December 2009, Official Statement to potential bond buyers: 105

February 2010, Barclays Center press release announcing sale of suites: 104


March 2010, Forest City press release on arena groundbreaking: 104


February 2012, Barclays Center press release announces 11 "exclusive ultra-luxurious suites inspired by cultural icon JAY Z"

September 2012, Forest City press release on arena ribbon-cutting: 101


August 2015, Barclays Center press release on Billboard Lounge

The press release mentions private hospitality studios" but doesn't call them suites. Nor did it say that the Billboard Lounge would replace The Valut, but NetsDaily confirmed that, adding:
There was no mention in the release of what will happen to the 11 suites that surrounded the bar at "The Vault" but a Barclays official said some will remain and be updated to become "private hospitality studios." Others will be incorporated into the "Billboard Lounge" space, which will be larger than "The Vault's" lounge. Billboard in its story on the lounge noted the presence of "private suites nestled in the back" of the lounge.
"The Vault," located next to the Calvin Klein Courtside Club. It had no access to the court, but those who leased the suites received courtside seats as part of their arrangement.
One of "The Vault suites was reserved for use by the arena's two owners, Mikhail Prokhorov and Bruce Ratner, while others went for $550,000 each per year with a three year guarantee. Jay-Z leased one of the 11 but it's been reported that the arena never sold out the suites.
Jay-Z might have "leased" a suite, but it was free.

August 2016, Official Statement to bond buyers: 96


August 2016, consultant's report within Official Statement: 90


August 2016, consultant's report within Official Statement: loss of The Vault

Current Barclays Center page on premium seating: 90+ suites



Current Barclays Center page describes "Billboard Lounge Studios" with 8 tickets 


Current Barclays Center page describes "Billboard Suite" though 8 tickets in Lower Bowl



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