Leave it to the Florida Panthers to remind you that everything has a price – even empty arena seats.
The team promised it would sell a sponsorship to the coverings on upper level seats that have been added to reduce capacity and create a more intimate setting at BankAtlantic Center.
Party City, the party goods supplier and the presenting sponsor for the 2010-11 Panthers season, is adding its name to the coverings. The Panthers blue coverings reduce the number of seats by nearly 2,500 to 17,040. The covers can be removed should there be demand.
The idea is to generate revenue, but I wonder if the sponsor – especially one promoting parties – doesn’t bring more attention to the fact that no one’s sitting in those seats.
The Panthers say the reduced capacity has increased demand and the team is approaching selling more than 10,000 season tickets -- the most in three seasons. A new general manager, boosted player roster and ticket deals as low as $6 a season ticket in the upper level – in honor of new Miami Heat player LeBron James’ jersey number – probably helped, too.
“”It is an incredibly natural fit for Party City to receive exposure on the upper bowl covers that will help to make the BankAtlantic Center a more intimate and exciting setting during the 2010-11 season,” Panthers President Michael Yormark said in a statement.