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Baseball Luxury Boxes: A Buyer's Market

"It's increased our exposure to a new audience that has never experienced premium seating," says Antonio Morici, the Dodgers' senior manager for premium sales and services.

Even teams with newer stadiums are getting more from less. In Seattle, the Mariners ripped out eight of their 68 boxes in 10-year-old Safeco Field in 2006 to make way for the 140-person All-Star Club. While the club's entry cost is lower, fans get free parking and food.

In Philadelphia, where fan dissatisfaction has made booing Santa Clause a cliché, the $4,000- to $20,000-per-season Diamond and Hall of Fame clubs have been full since Citizens Bank Park opened five years ago. Even before last year's World Series win, almost 90% of premium ticketholders returned each year -- and it's not the cheesesteaks that keep them coming back.

According to Derek Schuster, the Phillies' director of season ticket sales, each premium customer has his own account representative, meets a different player each month and gets a monthly events calendar. VIP fans are invited to a free wine tasting in July.

"Whether we win the World Series, make the playoffs or aren't fortunate enough to be in the playoffs, we try to remain consistent," he says.
Jason Notte is a reporter for TheStreet.com. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Esquire.com, Time Out New York, The Boston Herald, The Boston Phoenix, Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent. He previously served as the political and global affairs editor for Metro U.S., layout editor for Boston Now, assistant news editor for the Herald News of West Paterson, N.J., editor of Go Out! Magazine in Hoboken, N.J., and copy editor and lifestyle editor at the Jersey Journal in Jersey City, N.J.
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