Luxuriousness begins at T-Mobile Arena



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Sally Bae on Coliseum US Image: T-Mobile Arena

When Sally Bae started her career with AEG about nine years back, she had very little idea about the sports arenas and the sports venue sector. By dint of her hard work, today she holds the position of Director, Sales and Service, Global Partnerships, T-Mobile Arena, US.

Prior to her joining the AEG fold, she was into the real estate sector where Bae managed the marketing and sales operations for new development projects – “When I joined AEG, I started selling the residencies in downtown Los Angeles from 2012 to 2014 which resulted in a successful selling of the property and I sold over 375 million dollars in grow sales. In 2014, we located to Las Vegas selling a different type of real estate at the T-Mobile Arena where we managed 52 suites, 64 Luxe Boxes and Terrace Tables, and over 1,500 club seats.”

Sally Bae tells ‘Coliseum’ in a riveting conversation how she was instrumental in bringing the Premium Seating experience to the market and the success that was achieved in enhancing the guest experience. She also shares details as regards the plush facilities of T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, US. She was also actively involved in sponsorship sales at the T-Mobile Arena and the Grand Garden Arena.

The T-Mobile Arena is a multipurpose indoor arena on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada, United States, and is the home venue for the National Hockey League’s Vegas Golden Knights, who began play in 2017.

The MGM Grand Garden Arena is a 17,000-seat multi-purpose arena located within the MGM Grand Las Vegas on the Las Vegas Strip.

The T-Mobile Arena is owned by Las Vegas Arena Company, a joint venture between the MGM Resorts International and AEG.
 

Go-to destination

The T-Mobile Arena which opened on April 6th, 2016, is the go-to destination in Las Vegas for live events. From amazing music acts to thrilling sporting events, it sets a new standard for what entertainment means in the City that does it best. The 20,000-seat T-Mobile Arena hosts exciting, world-class events with something for everyone – from UFC, boxing, hockey, basketball and bull riding to high-profile awards shows and top-name concerts.
 

AEG & MGM Resorts joint venture

  • Culmination of over a decade of evaluating the market;
  • Two global powerhouses join forces to construct the first modern arena in Las Vegas in 20 years;
  • $500 million arena project including existing infrastructure on the site;
  • Selected world-class design firm Populous as the architect; and
  • Opened to rave reviews on April 6th, 2016.

 
Sally Bae put in, “The AEG and MGM had a shared vision to change the sports and entertainment experience in Las Vegas and built their first modern arena in 20 years. So, prior to the T-Mobile Arena opening its doors, the Grand Garden Arena was the home to concert, championship boxing, sporting events, and special events. However, the arena had no premium seating, no in-seat service, no VIP lounges, not even a VIP entrance.”

Taking into consideration the above, and as Las Vegas being the top three destinations in the United States primarily known for its gambling, shopping, fine dining, night life, and entertainment – “We have visitors globally and nationally therefore, it was extremely important for our business to make sure that the hospitality packages targeted every single individual. After all, we are the entertainment capital of the world. Hence, the T-Mobile Arena was born.”

When the T-Mobile Arena opened its doors in April 2016, it was designed after the very best amenities, personal service, hospitality packages that targeted every level of clientele. The plush facility is home to the Vegas Golden Knights and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and hosts over 100 events annually.
 

Premium experience

  • It is a 20,000-seat venue;
  • Premium seating offerings;
  • Event Level Suites also known as the Bunker Suites;
  • Forty-four Luxury Suites;
  • Two Party Suites;
  • Twenty-eight Loge Boxes;
  • Thirty-six Terrace Tables;
  • Club seats – 1,500; and
  • Twelve VIP Booths sold on an annual basis.

 

Five VIP entrances

  • Two VIP Porte Cochères;
  • Two VIP Suite Entrances;
  • One VIP Suite Bridge; and
  • Two Dedicated Premium Elevators.

 
Informed Bae, “We have five VIP entrances on either side of the Arena with two of them being large porte cochères where you get dropped off in a black car or a limo (service-only). We also have two suite entrances and a bridge that connects directly from the parking garage to our VIP parking that enters directly on to our Suite Level. We have dedicated premium elevators that go to every premium space on each level.”
 

Event Level Suites

  • Exclusive VIP entrance;
  • Private bartender and server;
  • Two guest services representatives;
  • Private restrooms; and
  • Sixteen tickets + eight Buddy Passes.

Annual investment: $1.3M
Term: 10 years
 
Bae further informed, “So, starting from the top, our Bunker Suites or Event Level Suites which are located on the Event Level, these are completely private and there is no view. It is approximately 720 square feet where one can enjoy one’s own private VIP entrance, your very own bartender, your server, two guest service representatives with one stationed outside of the Bunker Suite and another one that is also stationed right in front of the seats as you walk out of the Bunker Suite into your seats and then you have your own private restaurant. The seats outside are completely barricaded so nobody can come in and out into your section. The annual investment today is 1.3 million dollars a year with a tenure commitment.”

She added, “Our Bunker guests are allowed to pretty much go anywhere into the building when they produce their Bunker tickets beside backstage.”
 

Luxury Suites

  • Sixteen tickets + option to purchase four additional SRO;
  • Four VIP parking passes;
  • Dedicated VIP entrances; and
  • Complimentary access to lounges and clubs.

Annual Investment: $525,000
Terms: Five, seven, 10 years
 
The Luxury Suites includes 16 tickets, one level of suites are one level of suites with the option to purchase four additional SRO tickets inside his or her suite. It boasts more entertaining space and has an inviting ambience and the Luxury Suites range anywhere from 500,000 dollars and it goes up to 600,000 dollars – “On an event-by-event basis, depending on the event, these can range anywhere from 3,500 dollars all the way to 20,000 dollars.”
 

Party Suites

  • 40-75 tickets;
  • Dedicated VIP entrances; and
  • Complimentary access to lounges and clubs.

Rental Fee: $10,000-$50,000
 
She added, “Then we have large Party Suites that seat 40 with the option to purchase two additional standing room only (SRO) tickets. We also convert this space into a shared suite where we have food and beverages (F&B) package included and a bartender.”
 

Loge Boxes and Terrace Tables

  • Four to eight tickets;
  • Dedicated VIP entrances;
  • Complimentary access to the Arena’s lounges and clubs;
  • In-seat drink service; and
  • Access to the chef’s table at Goose Island Lounge.

 
Bae shared that the Loge Boxes and the Terrace Tables are meant for smaller groups also located on a Suite Level and there is a field on the main concourse. These are semi-private with dedicated service. They all have access to the Chef’s Table that’s located directly behind the Loge Boxes and Terrace Tables on the Suite Level where they can grab food and go back to their seats.
 

Seat License Programs

  • Magenta Seat – Assigned seat locations in the center of the Arena bowl, lower level.

$8,000 per seat

  • Club Seat – Floating seat licenses in the center of the arena, mid to upper row.

$3,500 per seat

  • Resort Program – Qualified resorts have the flexibility to purchase a variety of prices points and quantity if enrolled.

Investment: $125,000
Concierge Fee: $20 per ticket
 
She further informed, “We have a variety of seat licenses. The Magenta Seat is assigned seat locations and these seats are located right in the center of the Arena Bowl and we sell them in a minimum of four. Then we have our Club Seats that are not assigned but these actually flow in the center of the Arena and they have the option to purchase two and upwards. We also developed a Resort Program because we are in Las Vegas and the majority of our clientele do come from hotel, casinos and resorts. So, in order for one to qualify for this program, they have to purchase a minimum of 250,000 dollars of premium seating. Then they can opt-in to this Program paying an annual investment of a $125,000 which allows in purchasing tickets at every single price level before the public on sale during the pre-sale and it is also based upon availability. There is a $20 concierge fee because somebody will handle that directly to get the order from to be able to allow however many tickets that they want and the tickets will be delivered to them.”
 

Hyde VIP Booths

  • Four to six tickets;
  • Dedicated VIP entrances;
  • In-seat bottle service; and
  • Catering provided exclusively by Hyde.

Annual Investment: $50,000-$120,000
Term: Five, seven, 10 years
 
The Hyde Premium is located above the Arena on the top floor. It’s about 18,000 square feet and is a VIP Lounge that provides a very unique, high-energy entertainment experience unlike any other. It is open to all groups but really cater to its “Millennial and Gen Z. It combines a sexy and sophisticated ambience”.

Shared Bae, “When we opened our Arena, after the first year we were completely sold out of our premium seating. We went to Hyde and asked them if we can take a portion of their seating and sell them on an annual basis. This is probably our most affordable premium product which includes all of the events and range anywhere from $50,000 to $120,000 a year.”
 

Grand Garden Arena

  • Added value;
  • Dedicated VIP entrance;
  • Four-six seat Loge Boxes;
  • Club seat memberships; and
  • Complimentary access to VIP Skyy Lounge.

 
She concluded by stating, “I am back to talking about Grand Garden Arena because it is under the joint venture. We actually upgraded and built out premium seating for 4 and 6 Loge Boxes. We also created a VIP Lounge called the Skyy Lounge and we also created a dedicated VIP entrance for our Premium Members. So, anybody at T-Mobile Arena that is a premium client has access to the Grand Garden Arena. So, suite holders have four and six Loge Boxes that automatically include their tickets and then our Terrace Tables and Loge Box clients have seat licences at Grand Garden Arena where they will be able to purchase tickets on a pre-sale basis.”

The Hyde Lounge combines a sexy and sophisticated ambience with spectacular views. The 18,000 square foot venue extends over the Arena’s general seating to provide unparalleled views of world-class concerts and sporting events, as well as sweeping floor-to-ceiling window views of the Vegas strip.

The premium seat sector has evolved at a rapid pace over the last decade. Today’s discerning fans are not satisfied with good food and wines, they expect a full-package experience. Arenas encompass the latest in design, technology and experiential offerings for premium clients.

Sally Bae and her team at T-Mobile Arena are well aware of the fact that fans want the best access money can buy. And they take the crown when it comes to offering premium guest experiences.

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