NHL Doesn’t Factor Into Staples Suites

Various facilities that have pro hockey as a tenant have kicked back money or credit to their suite holders because of the National Hockey League’s season cancellation. That doesn’t include Los Angeles’ Staples Center, which billed its suite customers for the upcoming year at an increase. It now costs up to $360,000 for one of 160 suites.

Staples has several tenants — notably the Lakers — and 150 guaranteed events for its suite holders, but the lack of pro hockey has apparently upset a few of the customers, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal.

“They should have come forward with some form of compensations for the missed Kings games,” Norris Bishton, president of suite holder Noarus Auto Group, told the Journal. “I am surprised and disappointed. There has been no communication – nothing.”

Another suite customer told the Journal the venue’s sales team implied there would be a credit if the Kings season was canceled, adding that he felt “it was absolutely not a class act to not do something for us.”

Tim Leiweke, president of facility owner Anschutz Entertainment Group, agreed that Staples Center may not have completely made nice with the disgruntled suite holders, but most were aware of the venue’s aggressive efforts to fill in the empty dates.

The Journal added that none have given up their suites to hopefuls on the waiting list.

Staples Center spokesman Michael Roth told Pollstar the venue has historically offered suites based on total annual events. Before the arena opened, suite holders were guaranteed 40 Lakers games and 40 Kings games. As more events arrived in the building – including the Pac-10 college basketball tournament and Paul McCartney – the guarantee was upped to 150 events.

“That’s why, based on our building, there was no need for a refund because we met the minimum amount of events,” Roth said.

He added that, unlike other buildings that have an NHL team as a main tenant, Staples includes NBA’s Lakers and Clippers, arena football’s Avengers and women’s basketball’s Sparks. Plus, there are multiple nights coming up for McCartney, Neil Diamond, and the Eagles, along with many other concerts.

“We even have events like boxing that we lose money on,” he said. “We’re aggressive in bringing these events in not only to have 150 events but also so the suite holders keep coming back.”