10 Best Premium NFL Seats For The 2012 Football Season
Reliant (NRG) Stadium
Average premium ticket price: $260.17
A team on the rise, a town stocked with Big Energy and Fortune 500 companies and a retractable roof stadium with more than 200 luxury suites to fill bodes well for corporate sports fans. Never mind the catering menus filled with taqueria, barbecue, beef, pralines and pecan bourbon pie: Giant suites between 1,000 and 1,300 square feet that pack in 60 to 100 people a pop are cushy digs for fans who want to see T.J. Yates, Arian Foster and Andre Johnson return to the postseason after last year's first-ever franchise playoff win.
San Francisco 49ers
Average premium ticket price: $275
Candlestick Park has roughly 70,000 seats, and only 2% are of the luxury variety. That's no way to host half of Silicon Valley or pry its tech prodigies from their piles of cash. Especially when the "perks" your suites tout include "excellent views of the field," "sliding windows" and VIP parking. Those are all great luxury box features ... for 1992. Perhaps the best amenity the 49ers offer for suiteholders is priority access to suites at the team's new stadium in Santa Clara when it opens in 2014. Santa Clara stadium is just a bunch of beams now, but the 49ers claim they've already sold roughly $140 million in luxury suites for it.
Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Average premium ticket price: $282.83
So Tim Tebow is gone after last year's playoff run. A capable coach in Mike Shannahan, a hall-of-fame quarterback in Peyton Manning and an eminently winnable AFC West should be more than enough to get people to shell out for premium seats, right? This team knows lean times all too well and offers its United Club members fireplace lounges, stone pizza ovens cranking out pies and calzones, flatscreens throughout the lounges and VIP parking and entrances if they pay enough. That $180 to $340 a game jumps to $450 to nearly $700 per person for suite packages that include all of that, parking passes, guest passes, private televisions with NFL Sunday Ticket and all-inclusive food and beverage. Even higher-priced executive suites and "Legends Rooms" pale when compared with the 5280 room, which seats only 52 people, includes a reserved extra-wide leather seat, indoor seating, private restrooms, personal wait service, exclusive entrance, pre-game field passes and first right of refusal for playoff tickets. The damage: $9,250 a seat per year with $1,000 deposit.
Raymond James (RJF) Stadium
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Average premium ticket price: $293.30
Will promising NFL Sunday Ticket in suites work if the team on the field is blacked out? Ask folks in the Bucs' club seats, who enjoy free food, alumni autograph sessions and pregame entertainment while watching games no one else within a 75-mile radius can see, only to go to their exclusive lounge and miss the action on the field because the game is blacked out. The Bucs have spent much of the past two seasons off local television thanks to low home game attendance, but that hasn't stopped the team from trying to lure high-end customers with $150 to $400 club seats. While folks in the suites get all of those club perks plus air-conditioned rooms, extra-wide seats and access to other stadium events such as University of Southern Florida games and the Outback Bowl, the "preferred parking" still falls short of amenities offered by other teams and may partially explain why Tampa seems just fine with watching whatever game is on at home.
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