The site of Super Bowl LIII
Photo: �Cox Media Group
Photo: �Cox Media Group

Road to Super Bowl LIII: Market ‘strong’ for hospitality packages

Super Bowl hospitality packages – the pricey combinations of game tickets, pregame entertainment and other premium perks -- are selling ahead of last year’s pace, according to the company leading the sales effort for the NFL. 

“The market has been very strong,” said Sam Soni, the Atlanta-based chief revenue officer of On Location Experiences, the NFL’s official hospitality partner. “We are up about 17 percent year-over-year in revenue, and in units sold we’re probably up north of 10 percent.” 

Last season’s Super Bowl was played in Minneapolis, and this season’s will be in Atlanta on Feb. 3. 

» Follow: AJC’s continuing coverage of the Super Bowl in Atlanta

On Location Experiences, owned in part by the NFL’s investment arm, acquired Atlanta-based PrimeSport, a leader in providing access to sports and entertainment events, in December 2017. PrimeSport, now a division of On Location, brought deep experience working with individual teams to sell ticket packages for the Super Bowl, college football bowl games and other events. 

“We’re located here, so we’re happy to be involved, happy to see the Super Bowl in Atlanta,” said Soni, the founder and former CEO of PrimeSport and also a member of the Hawks’ ownership group. “It has been a long time (19 years) since the event was here, and we feel good about the way things are looking right now. ... We definitely think it will be a Super Bowl experience that will be tough to match.” 

Because the NFL doesn’t put Super Bowl tickets on sale to the general public at face value, the likeliest options for many fans who want to attend the game are to buy tickets on the secondary (resale) market or in hospitality packages. On Location’s available packages currently range from $3,600 to $15,075, depending largely on seat location. 

The NFL makes about 10,000 Super Bowl tickets available to On Location for sale in packages. 

Sales began last summer and to this point mostly have been to businesses and well-heeled fans who want to attend the big game – and surrounding spectacle – regardless of which teams are playing.  Corporations based in metro Atlanta and elsewhere in the Southeast have been among the buyers, Soni said. The next phase of sales will be triggered when the Super Bowl teams are determined.

“What happens the last two weeks before the game is that we offer a lot of team-specific product, which is the second wave of demand,” Soni said. “We’re moving from the initial phase of sales, which go from early summer to end of (regular) season, and now a lot of our sales potential is prospected by the participating teams as we come up with another portfolio of products to cater to them.” 

Such offerings, he said, will include team-specific pregame parties and – at additional costs -- charter flights from the participating teams’ cities and a range of Atlanta hotel options. He expects On Location to sell 2,000 to 3,000 hospitality packages to fans of each participating team. 

SUPER BOWL BRIEFS 

> CBS Sports HQ -- the streaming sports-news network available free across digital platforms -- is planning more than 30 hours of live programming from Atlanta during Super Bowl week.  That will include several live daily shows from the Super Bowl’s “Radio Row” at the Georgia World Congress Center beginning Jan. 28.

> Tickets remain on sale at Ticketmaster.com for Super Bowl Experience, the football theme park to be staged inside the Congress Center from Jan. 26-Feb. 2, and Super Bowl Opening Night, the event formerly known as media day to be held in State Farm Arena on Jan. 28. Admission will be free to Super Bowl Live, a series of concerts and other activities to be held in Centennial Olympic Park on Jan. 26-28 and Jan. 31-Feb. 2.

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