Pru Center announces three new premium seating options

The Lofts, which will be a renovation of the existing Goal Bar, target small- to medium-size businesses, high net worth individuals

By Tom Bergeron
Newark | Sep 17, 2018 at 7:30 am

Prudential Center officials announced three new varieties of premium seating Monday morning in what they are calling a continual effort to provide unique experiences at a variety of prices.

The Lofts will offer three premium seating options that will be sold at a lower price point than the arena’s Platinum Club luxury suites, according to Jason Gonella, vice president of premium sales.

The Lofts will replace the existing Goal Bar area on the Pru Center’s Infiniti Suite Level at the north end of the arena.

The 14,560-square-foot premium club space will offer eight-person private logo boxes, four-person, half-moon shaped high-bar tables and 145 individual seats in an open-concept environment that features 30-foot ceilings.

All three options will lead back a community lounge area where seat owners will have premium food and beverage options, including two 40-foot full-service bars and in-seat waiting service. Purchasers will have access to the seats for every event at the arena.

Annual pricing will range from $23,000 for an individual seat to $78,000 for the four-top tables to $156,000 for the eight-person private box, Gonella said.

Renovations on The Lofts will begin in October. Gonella said the space should be open by mid-December.

“We look at The Lofts as an additive product,” Gonella said. “It provides an incremental way to open premium opportunities to a wide array of business types and sizes. From a budget perspective, it meets a lot of different needs.

“We think The Lofts will provide a community neighborhood feel and meet the premium seating demands and needs of our current customer base.”

The Lofts, Gonella said, will be about increasing the customer experience.

“You want to get people in the building, no matter what the sport or entertainment offering, and a lot of that is driven by experiences,” he said.

“I think what we’ve done here is created an environment with the food and beverage concept as well as the variety of the seating, where you’ve got this unique experience in a very incredible space. There’s lots of different places to have conversations. The food will be changed in and out and the bar and beverage experience will be phenomenal.”

Gonella said the product will be marketed to businesses of various sizes as well as high net worth individuals — really, he said, anyone looking for a premium experience.

And, while the options officially go on sale Monday, Gonnella said the Prudential Center sold some of the inventory during what Gonella called a “friends and family” presale event.

Gonella talked with ROI-NJ in advance of the opening. Here’s a bit of the conversation, edited for space and clarity.

ROI-NJ: Where will the space be and when will it be available?

Jason Gonella: We’re converting what we used to call the Goal Bar. Renovations will begin in October and it will be open mid-December. They are going to be situated on the north end of the building, the glass end of the building. It will be behind the net where the Devils shoot twice and opposite the stage for concerts. So, it’s really a phenomenal location for both hockey and concerts.

ROI: Break down the new offerings in a little more detail?

JG: There’s going to be three distinct product offerings in the space: An eight-seat loge box, a four-top table product and then a club seat product. And all of them will feed back into the community lounge area.

We’ll have 10 loge boxes, 10 tables and 145 seats.

The loge seats are more of the traditional eight-seat private space. The four-top table offering is like a high-top bar table, in a half-moon shape. And then there will be 145 individual seats that will be on both sides.

The key is that all of the offerings will be a more premium experience. And all of them will feed back into the private premium lounge area, where you are going to get a food and non-alcoholic beverage program that are inclusive in the pricing.

ROI: Will people use the space on a game-by-game or concert-by-concert basis or is it sold on an annual contract?

JG: We’re selling it as an annual license product. People are buying them on a multiyear three-, five- and seven-year basis. Our standard suite terms fall in line with those (time frames). The Platinum Club and the Lofts will be sold on a multiyear basis.

ROI: What was the impetus for this concept?

JG: It was driven by the success we’ve had with the Platinum Lounge and the Platinum club seats, which are situated down low, right behind the penalty boxes for hockey and tremendous seats for concerts.

The idea of emulating that in another space, which has a great view for concerts and great view for sporting events, seemed to be very intuitive.

We’ve tested the loge box and table concept over the last few years in the Goal Bar area and sold it really well. We thought adding seats was a very logical step and the reaction from the public and our customers to date has been very positive.

ROI: Who’s the ideal client in mind?

JG: It’s really across the board. For starters, it’s businesses of all sizes. When you’re dealing with premium seating or season tickets, those tend to be the groups that have wherewithal and the bandwidth. They use it for customer entertainment, recruiting or their own employees.

And then we also have high net worth individuals, entrepreneurs, groups of friends that want to get involved in a high-end premium environment. So, it really meets the needs of a broad spectrum of customers.

ROI: Venues, especially sports venues, have been challenged to find ways to continue to bring in customers. The Prudential Center’s attendance numbers have grown each year since the new ownership has taken over; is this another way you’re attempting to make sure that trend moves forward?

JG: You want to get people in the building, no matter what the sport or entertainment offering. And I think a lot of that is driven by experiences. And, what we’ve continually tried to do is provide unique experiences to get people out of their home and enjoying the live experience. That’s really what we’re all doing in this business: trying to give people a sense of community, that sense of activity, that sense of sharing that common experience.

We think this does address those needs. And, based on the way this is priced and based on the variety of the product, there’s a lot of different options that are going to be attractive to a lot of different sizes and types of companies and a lot of different people from different walks of lives and different sort of interest levels of needs.

What we’ve done with our design team is tried to address some of those needs for creating that incredible experience that gets people out of the home. And I’m really confident that we’ve been able to achieve that at a very high level with what we’re going to come to the table with when this is all done in December.