NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Think a seat in front of a giant flatscreen with a full slate of games and coffee table loaded with snacks is the best seat in the house this year? You obviously haven't seen the NFL's luxury seats and suites.If you want to draw large corporations into your stadium and the big money that comes with them, it helps to throw in a private apartment, food from top chefs and free beer every so often. Three-quarters of U.S. sports teams have either built or remodeled their venues in the past two decades with an eye toward increased luxury options. With suites contributing 5% to 20% of total team revenue, those high-paying playpens and other swanky seating areas have become necessities for teams looking to boost the bottom line.
Average premium ticket price: $246.17
So Peyton Manning's gone, the team went 2-14 last year and rookie quarterback Andrew Luck gets the ball to start the 2012 season. Who wants seconds at the nacho bar? Back when Manning was slinging the ball to Reggie Wayne and guiding the Colts to the Super Bowl, it was a whole lot easier to pack Lucas Oil Field's 137 suites. Now those personal televisions between each showing of DirecTVs' (DTV) NFL Sunday Ticket are a much bigger perk for fans in the stadium's dozen super suites, while the 10 feet between fans and the endzone in the stadium's eight field suites may be a bit too close for comfort this year. FedEx (FDX) Field
Average premium ticket price: $254.56
The Colts aren't the only team depending on a rookie quarterback to sell hundreds of luxury suites. Robert Griffin III could use more than the Hooters Club's wings and the Montecristo Club's cigars to help sell luxury tickets this year, considering how much higher the stakes are. The team has already suffered through a string of mediocre at best seasons and dropped seating capacity from more than 91,000 in 2010 to 83,000 last year. This year, capacity drops to just 79,000 after the team removed seats to put in a standing-room-only "party deck" while the top suites get some renovations. Premium Club and Dream Seat members still get premium concessions, exclusive events, memorabilia discounts, postgame parties and leather-padded seats for their trouble, but free food and drinks delivered free to Dream Seats is a fairly sweet perk.