(from Sports Business Journal, October 14, 2013) When it comes to live sporting events, it’s no longer just about the game that is happening on the field; it’s about creating an entertainment experience that will have fans coming back for more and more. Peter McLoughlin, CEO of Vulcan Sports & Entertainment and President of the Seattle Seahawks, is doing just that. Many upgrades are happening all across the board at CenturyLink Field to please all 62,000 season-ticket holders and to hopefully attract more in the future. These upgrades are happening across all aspects of a game day experience; from food and drink to how the fans shop for memorabilia, it’s all becoming more streamlined and enjoyable.
In the off season Vulcan Sports nearly doubled the size of the team store in the stadium to almost 7,400 square feet giving fans a much more comfortable shopping experience. Space wasn’t the only issue prior to this renovation though. How fans actually checked out was the bigger problem; now they have cash registers and employees walking around with handheld devices that take credit cards. All of this caused sales to increase 25 percent compared to last year.
Additionally, CenturyLink Field now has a new food provider that has stepped up their game for the fans as well. All concession stands now have digital menus; this allows the company to run various promotions and change prices with the press of a few buttons. For example, on some game days they will run discounts on food and drinks prior to the game and then quickly change the prices back to normal once the game has begun. A beer hall with 175 seats has also been added for people who want to go to a little more of a relaxing place to enjoy the game with a micro brew and German sausage.
All of this has led to the Seahawks selling out of season tickets including all 107 suites owned by the team. McLoughlin says Vulcan isn’t done with upgrades yet, but that they have several more up their sleeve.