The Suite Experience Blog

A New Nest for the High-Flying Falcons

Fresh off a trip to the Super Bowl, the Falcons couldn’t have chosen a better time to move into their new home, Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Falcon’s owner Arthur Blank set very high expectations for his team’s brand new stadium and boy did he deliver. The $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium will feature unparalleled city views, an upgraded fan experience, and a breathtaking retractable roof. With its pulsating music and lights, the energy of Mercedes-Benz will bring a bright beating heart to the center of Atlanta.

As part of our series detailing the sports venues being unveiled in the next year, we wanted to give Falcons fans a little taste of their incredible new stadium. Mercedes-Benz Stadium should more than console Falcons fans still bitter about their Super Bowl loss as it looks to be the new standard for all other stadiums in both the NFL and MLS.

 

Premium Seatingmercedes-benz-graphic-1

For those fans looking for a more premium experience, Mercedes-Benz Stadium will have plenty of high-quality game experiences for their VIP guests. With 7,500 club seats, a suite level stretching from endzone to endzone, and over 100,000 square feet of premium clubs and lounges, including the Champions Lounge located behind the Falcon’s bench. Atlanta’s new NFL home is truly outfitted to give guests a top-of-the-line gameday experience.

 

Suite Options

Mercedes-Benz Stadium will offer two suite levels for fans that want to host clients or entertain friends in a suite. The Touchdown Suites are located on the field level, can host up to 22 guests, and are outfitted with a wet bar, comfortable theater-style seating and private restrooms in every suite. Each suite is decked out with all the tech that guests could want; HD TV’s with access to NFL Sunday Ticket and a local Wi-Fi network to give a full suite of guests internet access.

The Franchise Suites, which are located on the suite level, offer seating for between 14 and 22 guests. These suites are furnished with top of the line seating and offer a bird’s eye view of the action in your own comfortable climate controlled space. All suites come with a delicious catering menu, a full offering of beer, wine and spirits, and dedicated suite attendant to take care of your every need. With over 90 suites available at opening, there are plenty of options to take your gameday experience to the next level.

 

 

Iconic Roof and Halo Video board

If fans want to see what really makes Mercedes-Benz Stadium the crown jewel of Atlanta, all fans have to do is look up. The stadium’s “360-degree Halo” video board is the largest in professional sports. The 63,000 square-foot screen is located right below the retractable roof’s opening providing fans ways to view the score, the time and recent highlights from any angle. To top it off, the stadium’s retractable roof, which was inspired by the Oculus of the Roman Pantheon, opens and closes in a unique way that is truly indescribable. Check out the video below for a fly-over of the stadium that demonstrates how the roof operates.

 

 

When Arthur Blank set out to build a stadium that was both environmentally conscious and fan-focused, I’m not sure even he knew how gorgeous his team’s new home venue would be. When Mercedes-Benz Stadium is finally opened on July 30th, NFL and MLS fans across the country will be very jealous of Atlanta’s iconic new home venue.

Sports fans should stay tuned to the Suite Experience Group’s Blog as the year progresses. We will be examining all of the new arenas opening up around the NHL, NFL, MLB and NBA this year. The next venue in our series will be Little Caesar’s Arena, which opens in 2017 and will be shared by the Detroit Pistons and Red Wings.

As always, if you are interested in purchasing a luxury suite please contact us through our website.

 

*Information the Mercedes-Benz Website, Business Insider and the Atlanta Falcons was used in this post

About Connor Sprague

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What Questions To Have in Mind When Buying a Luxury Suite?

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Brian Jeffcoat, VP of Client Services

Watching a concert or sporting event from a luxury suite is an unforgettable experience, and whether you’re hosting a client event or celebrating a birthday, a luxury box is the perfect setting. Despite the immediate gratification suite buyers will get from the impressed looks on their guest’s faces and the exclamations of wonder from their kids, purchasing a suite can be a stressful experience. Because it is a premium item, a suite can be expensive, plus there are many decisions to be made regarding the details of your suite. Do I want a suite along the 30-yard line or a corner of the end zone suite? How do I find parking and how do you even get up to the suite level? What types of food and beverages do I want in my suite? Can I get anyone with non-suite tickets into my suite? At Suite Experience Group we use our extensive suite knowledge to make sure that your suite purchasing experience is as stress-free as possible. We provide you with all the information you need to buy a luxury suite, and one of our representatives is always available to talk through questions, details, and concerns.

 

No question is too simple or outlandish (and we’ve heard them all over the years here at Suite Experience Group). As the person answering those questions I’ve been asked some things that people might think are obvious or kind of strange, but if there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that you never know what you can get until you ask. Here are a few of the questions I have been asked over the years:

 

How many chicken wings come in the basket of chicken wings?

I don’t know! I truly wish I had the answer to this one, sometimes its 43 wings other times there are 44 wings and if you get really lucky there can be 47 wings. There are never a constant number of wings. In summary, I don’t know, but what I do know is that you can always feel safe about how much food there will be. Most a la carte items will feed eight to ten guests so there is plenty of food for your party no matter the size.

 

Are tickets included with the suite?

Yes, always. This may seem kind of obvious, but surprisingly it does come up a lot. So if you have asked me this question, don’t worry you’re not alone. You never know what might come with a suite until you ask. Some suite owners even negotiate unique benefits into their suite lease and these benefits can be anything from a visit from a team employee (i.e., Jerry West for the Warriors) or field passes for the game that we can provide you access to. So feel free to ask what comes with the suite because you never know what you might get.

 

Do you have a suite for the game tomorrow?

The short answer is probably not. Especially for big-ticket events, it is a good idea to call us at least a month in advance to ensure that we have suites available. NFL and College Football suites need to be purchased particularly early, while MLB, NHL and NBA suites can sometimes be purchased the week of the game. My advice is to call even if it is the day before your event because we will do whatever we can to get you into a luxury suite, but if you give us more time we can give you more varied and better options.

 

Can I sing the national anthem for the game I’m buying a suite for?

Yes I really was asked this and like I said earlier, you never know until you ask, right? Sadly, no, we do not have the connections to pull this one off, but we are more than happy to help you out with whatever special requests you have for your game. We can book you a hotel for your trip, help plan ground transportation, acquire access to exclusive clubs inside the stadium, and even get you into a stadium early if you would like to host a meeting or ceremony. We are willing to help you with whatever requests you may have no matter how wild they might be, so ask away. And once you are in your private suite, feel free to sing along to the national anthem with all your heart.

 

Does this spark questions of your own? Give us a call at 800-592-7043 or browse our suites here.

About Brian Jeffcoat, VP Client Services

As VP, Client Services, Mr. Jeffcoat leads Suite Experience Group’s sales and customer service efforts.

Contact Brian

A Crown Jewel for California’s Capital City

Only three years ago the Sacramento Kings seemed headed out of California’s capital, but now, thanks to Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson and Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, the Kings seem set to stay in Sac-town for a very long time. For the first time in ten years, full season and half season ticket plans have completely sold out. For a team that has struggled to fill Sleep Train Arena in the past this is fantastic news. The rises in sales are all thanks to the $507 million dollar Golden 1 Center.  Golden 1 is a technological marvel fit for the capital city of a state that includes both the Silicon Valley and natural wonders like Yosemite and Redwood National Parks. Here’s a rendition of how the Kings new arena will look like when it is finished that was taken from the Kings YouTube page.

 

As part of our series detailing the sporting venues being unveiled this year, we wanted to give Sacramento Kings fans a look into the most technologically advanced and green arena in the NBA. Kings fans are truly in for a treat as Vivek Ranadive’s design team has managed to both highlight Sacramento and create a state-of-the-art entertainment center.Slide1

 

Why is Golden 1 Center the most technologically advanced arena in the NBA and described by Wired Magazine as “A Giant Tesla”?

It is outfitted with over 650 miles of fiber optic cable and a 6,000 square foot data center

The arena can handle 500,000 Snapchats per second and it is conceivable that Golden 1 will be easily handle anything that mobile devices can throw at it for the next 10 to 20 years. There is also cell coverage no matter where you are in the building.

Golden 1 Center is a SMART building

It knows everything that is transpiring on the premises. Golden 1 can send fans score updates when they’re getting food, tell fans which bathroom has the shortest line or deliver a deal code to fans when they’re in line at concessions.

The Video Screen has more pixels than the Dallas Cowboys screen despite being half the size

Because of NBA regulations the Kings couldn’t build a bigger screen than the Cowboys but they did manage to get 32 million pixels on their 84 foot screen, which is six million more than the Cowboys fit on their 160 foot screen.

Golden 1 Center has its own app

The app permits fans to have the easiest gameday experience possible from getting to the game to ordering concessions. Golden 1’s app enables fans to purchase tickets and parking online and then gives fans directions to their parking spot and seat. Another cool feature of the app is that it allows fans to buy anything from a hot dog to a foam finger from the comfort of their seat.

Kings fans should be thrilled with their new arena, which has definitely delivered on its promise of bringing the ultimate modern gameday experience. A jewel amidst picturesque downtown Sacramento, Golden 1 Center should bring vitality and excitement to California’s capital city.

 

 

Sports fans should stay tuned to the Suite Experience Group’s Blog as the summer progresses. We will be examining all of the new arenas opening up around the NHL, NFL, MLB and NBA this year. The next venue in our series will be the Detroit Red Wings Little Caesar’s Arena, which opens in 2017 and will feature very innovative seating options.

As always, if you are interested in purchasing a luxury suite please contact us through our website.

*Information from Wired Magazine and Amplify Magazine used in this post

About Connor Sprague

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College Football Kickoff

Great news to start the weekend: the return of college football is now officially 2 weeks away. And if you’re not already totally amped for the season, well…

For starters, give this a try: College Football HYPE Video 2016.

Opening weekend is LOADED with marquee match-ups. Here’s your annual CFB primer highlighting the must-watch games of opening weekend along with our shortlist of some elite athletes who are well worth the price of admission (preferably in a suite) in 2016-17:


Wisconsin (21) vs. LSU (16) – Historic Lambeau Field; Green Bay, Wisconsin – 9/3 Suites still available

Clemson (2) vs. Auburn – Jordan-Hare Stadium; Auburn, Alabama – 9/3

Oklahoma (5) vs. Houston (8) – NRG Stadium; Houston, Texas – 9/3 Suites still available

 UCLA (23) vs. Texas A&M – Kyle Field; College Station, Texas – 9/3

 USC vs. Alabama (1) – AT&T Stadium; Dallas, Texas – 9/3 Suites still available


Myles Garrett – DE, Texas A&M – 6’5 262

Evoking physical comparisons to Julius Peppers, Mario Williams, and Jadeveon Clowney, Texas A&M defensive end, Myles Garrett, is an elite talent with game-changing potential. Garrett is freakishly built and has the football IQ to match. He plays with impressive fluidity and a non-stop motor. Although only a junior, Garret has the complete skillset of a three-down defensive end who can rush the passer and stop the run. With room to bulk up, scouts anticipate Garrett can grow into another 10-15 lbs. of muscle before entering the NFL. Garrett has a markedly quick first step off the edge – perhaps the most important skill for a 4-3 defensive end. Although Garrett has been productive as an underclassman, he was overshadowed by the likes of former CFB defensive stars Jadaveon Clowney and Khalil Mack. Look for Garrett to be SEC Defensive POY and a legitimate top 5 pick come the 2017 NFL Draft.

Greg Ward JR – QB, Houston – 6’0 185

2,000 yard passer, 1,000 yard rusher and 38 combined touchdowns in 2015. Even if we told you he was the QB of the 8th ranked team in the country, not many people would guess it was Houston QB, Greg Ward Jr. Perhaps due to Ward’s unassuming demeanor or maybe his smaller stature, Ward Jr.’s talent has gone underappreciated. Ward Jr. is a true dual-threat. He can run and throw; he’s the modern athlete playing the quarterback position. Heck, put Ward Jr. at cornerback and he would probably be above-average. Ward Jr. has electric natural ability and, as a converted wide receiver, he is just now starting to feel comfortable reading defenses. Ward’s game should finally get national recognition this year as the Houston Cougars open the season ranked 8th in both the USA Today and Coaches polls.

OJ Howard – TE, Alabama – 6’6 245

OJ Howard’s production didn’t quite corroborate his physical attributes. Then the 2016 National Championship happened. Howard caught 8 passes for 205 yards and 2 touchdowns. Howard is a fluid athlete with wide receiver speed in a tight end frame. He is rangy and explosive with strong hands. Howard has a tremendous catch radius. One more year of refined route running should cement him as a first round pick come next year’s draft. Howard, now a senior, will be a top offensive weapon for Alabama’s offense. You heard it here – this is the year Howard puts it all together as a 1,000 yard receiver and red zone touchdown machine.

Corey Clement – RB, Wisconsin – 5’10 228

Ron Dayne. Montee Ball. Melvin Gordon. Corey Clement? Clement was supposed to have his breakout season last year as a junior, but he struggled through injuries and missed plenty of games. While some expected Clement to declare for the NFL draft, he instead opted to return to Madison to attend to unfinished business. In a run-heavy offense, Clement will be the focal point. Running behind one of the nation’s best offensive lines, we think Clement is a legitimate Big Ten Offensive POY candidate and Heisman contender. Clement has the ideal frame to withstand running between the tackles while possessing enough burst to make defenders miss on the outside. Expect some huge games from Clement in 2016-17 as the Wisconsin running back tradition continues.


 

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About Cameron Nickels

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A New Home for the Purple People Eaters

As the 2016 NFL season draws closer, many industry experts will be focused on the land of a thousand lakes and the Minnesota Vikings’ new stadium in Minneapolis – U.S. Bank Stadium. The brand new stadium exemplifies a trend of big time investment in venues across the sports industry, but especially in the National Football League. Forbes has predicted that the NFL will generate over $13 billion dollars in revenue in 2016. While $13 billion in revenue is quite an impressive number, perhaps the most significant indicator of the health of the NFL brand is the number of multi-billion dollar stadiums under proposal or currently being constructed.

In our series on new sporting venues across the major North American sports leagues, we will be examining what is unique about each venue and what amenities and features these massive investments are providing in-stadium fans. Since the 2016 NFL season will be U.S. Bank Stadium’s inaugural one, our first post will give Vikings fans a little taste of what the Metrodome’s replacement has to offer.

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The front of U.S. Bank Stadium is designed to look like the prow of a viking longship.

What’s cool/unique about Minnesota’s U.S. Bank Stadium?

  1. It looks like a Viking longship
  2. It is one of the only stadiums in the NFL with a single truss design, which enables it to shed the snow and ice common during Minnesota winters
  3. It has Turf Suites literally right on top of the field, close enough that fans can almost hear the play calls
  4. The stands are the closest to the field of any stadium in the NFL, so fans can really feel those bone-crunching hit

How does it compare to the old Metrodome?

  • It is almost twice the size
  • Has twice as many bathrooms
  • 44 more luxury suites
  • 8,000 additional club seats
  • Six new VIP lounges
  • Six different types of luxury suite to cater for all different sizes and types of groups

Also if you want to know more, here is an awesome infographic on the Vikings website comparing the two venues.  It is safe to say that fans of the Purple People Eaters will be extremely entertained in their swanky new stadium: there is truly an experience for everyone.

Sports fans should stay tuned to the Suite Experience Group’s Blog as the summer progresses. We will be examining all of the new arenas opening up around the NHL, NFL, MLB and NBA this year. The next venue in our series will be the NBA’s most technologically advanced and environmentally friendly arena, the Sacramento King’s Golden 1 Center.

As always if you’re looking to buy a luxury suite, check out our website.

About Connor Sprague

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Everything You Need to Know About the Birth of Hockey’s Newest Expansion Franchise

 

If you’re wondering how exactly the NHL ended up in Las Vegas, it all starts with Bill Foley. Bill Foley is a top-level executive for Fidelity National Financial who has been pushing for a Las Vegas sports franchise for quite a long time. Rumors have been circulating for years about the possible relocation of an NBA or NFL team, so it is a little surprising that the franchise Foley finally landed was an NHL team. The question is, why after years of lobbying, did a big four sports franchise finally decide to take up residence in Sin City? Well, let’s let Kevin Costner answer that one for you.

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“Build it and they will come.”

The consistent problem Foley had in his big time recruiting project was the lack of a feasible stadium for a new team to play in. He decided to solve that problem and build one. The $375 million project was funded by MGM Resorts International and Anschutz Entertainment Group and began on May 1, 2014.   Construction of the stadium, on an empty tract of land behind the New York-New York and Monte Carlo resorts, finished on April 6, 2016. No expense was spared in the construction of the arena and the superior quality of the stadium reflects its meticulous design.

 

Superior Design

T-Mobile Arena is a state-of-the-art facility featuring the most advanced technology and a world-class design. The building is constructed to highlight the best parts of the Las Vegas area. The front of the building reflects the glitz and glamour of the Strip, while the back of the arena is filled with deep purples, blues and reds to evoke the picturesque desert sunsets. Despite its grandeur, the arena still maintains respect for the beautiful natural setting that surrounds the city. The U.S. Green Building Council even gave the arena a Gold Certification for its environmentally conscious design. In January 2016, T-Mobile bought the rights to the 20,000-seat arena and off the bid for an NHL expansion team went.

 

Featuring the Ultimate in Entertainment

Foley now had his stadium but he was still missing his sports franchise. Luckily, he didn’t have to wait long. The NHL approved the Las Vegas expansion request on June 22, 2016. Even prior to the bid’s approval, Las Vegas showed that it would welcome a sports team with open arms – the arena sold over 10,000 potential season tickets. Unfortunately for the excited citizens of Las Vegas the hockey team will not be moving into T-Mobile Arena until 2017-2018. But don’t worry… In the meantime, sports fans can watch a plethora of supremely entertaining events. Already, T-Mobile Arena has hosted A-Listers like Billy Joel and George Strait as well as a big-time boxing match between Amir Khan and Canelo Alvarez. Looking a little further along this year, the Professional Bull Riding Finals will be held in T-Mobile Arena along with the Pac-12 Basketball Championships, many Ultimate Fighting Championship events and concerts from everyone from Garth Brooks to Gwen Stefani.

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Top of the Line Luxury Suites

T-Mobile Arena’s luxury suites are not only the newest in the entertainment industry, but also some of the finest. The suites are located above the lower bowl and provide the best sightlines to the ice rink or stage. Additionally, suites contain HDTV’s to keep up with all the action, both live and on replay. Suite furnishings are of outstanding quality and offer a comfortable space to enjoy any event as well as entertain clients and guests. Customizable catering plans filled with the best options in game day fare can be purchased for an additional cost. A luxury suite comes with 12 tickets, the option to purchase an additional 4 tickets (a total of 16 tickets), 3 VIP Parking Passes and complimentary access to all of the arena’s VIP private lounges and clubs. As an added bonus, suite attendees get to access the arena through an exclusive VIP entrance. If you’re interested in attending an event at T-Mobile Arena in a luxury suite please contact us at our website:

 

https://www.suiteexperiencegroup.com/all-suites/oth/t-mobile-arena/

 

OR

 

Call us at: 1(800)592-7043

 

Upcoming Special Events

 

7/16/16        DIXIE CHICKS

7/22/16        USA BASKETBALL vs. ARGENTINA

8/06/16        BARBRA STREISAND

8/19/16        GWEN STEFANI

8/20/16        UFC 202: FEAT NATE DIAZ vs. CONNOR McGREGOR

8/21/16        SLIPKNOT

9/1/16           COLDPLAY

9/9-10/16     GEORGE STRAIGHT

9/11/16        DRAKE

 

AND MANY MORE…

Check out the full calendar at:

http://www.t-mobilearena.com/events

About Connor Sprague

Contact Connor

Top Trends in Premium Seating

The first suite ever at the Houston Astrodome. Suites have come a long way since.

Houston Astrodome: Home of the First Suite

The first luxury suite was built in 1968 in the Houston Astrodome, a building visible from space and known as the 8th Wonder of the World.  It set the stage for an arms race to build bigger and better stadiums all across America.  Today, the premium seating industry – consisting of club seats and luxury suites for sporting events and concerts – is a driving force behind the growth in the live event industry.  Premium seats often account for less than 20% of the seats in a venue, but they usually generate over 50% of the ticketing revenue.  When a new stadium is built, the guaranteed income from the long-term suite leases give bankers the confidence to make the large loans necessary to finance the stadium.

I’m fresh off dozens of meetings at the Association of Luxury Suite Directors annual conference.  Here are the top 3 trends I heard at the show:

 

Teams and venues keep upping their game with technology and building design – the in-stadium fan experience has never been better.  The Teams understand that the experience in your living room is more compelling with each passing year.  That’s why they are designing stadiums to give you things you just can’t get at home.  At AT&T Stadium, for example, guests in the Field Suites can stand just feet away as the players enter and exit the field.  Some suite owners get to park their car underneath the stadium and take an elevator directly to their suite level.  And if you thought you had a big TV at home, fans at the game can watch replays on the center-hung video board spanning 72 feet high by 160 feet wide.  That’s hard to replicate in your living room. In addition, teams are leaning on third-party vendors to provide an added WOW factor in the suites.  For example, suites at Churchill Downs feature Monsieur machines, a robotic bartender designed to mix you a perfect cocktail.  If you get hungry in a suite during a Minnesota Wild game at Xcel Energy Center, ordering food is as simple as a few clicks on an an in-suite tablet, powered by Bypass.  The Internet of Things just might have a bigger impact on luxury suites than on your living room.

 

PNC Park has one of the best premium experiences in baseball

PNC Park has a world class premium seating experience

The primary and secondary markets for tickets have converged; suites are next.  TicketMaster now runs its own fan-to-fan resale marketplaces.  StubHub’s name will be on the Jersey of the 76ers next year.  Large brokers like Ticket Galaxy, DTI, and Dynasty have aligned closely with Teams to control secondary resale and they are sharing the data they collect with their Teams counterparts.  That same level of collaboration isn’t yet happening between the primary and secondary suite market, but having a liquid secondary market for suites is good for teams (easier to sell and renew leases, more F&B revenue, fewer dark suites), and it’s great for the suite owners (higher ROI on their suite investment).  Data from InviteManager shows that leased suites go unused or misused 43% of the time.  That number will drop as Teams begin to collaborate with the secondary suite players to provide solutions to leaseholders looking to maximize the ROI on their multi-year investment.

 

 

 

The post-venue world is closer than you think. Ok, maybe that headline is a bit dramatic – the game will always need to be played somewhere, after-all.  But if you listen to Andy Dolich and Wes Burtner from VHere, they make a compelling case for how VR can bring fans to places they could only dream of before. What if you could listen to Aaron Rodgers pump-up his team before taking the field, or be in the locker room for a championship celebration?  Virtual Reality has the potential to put the fans right in the middle of the action from thousands of miles away.

 

How will the teams continue to innovate their most premium experiences?  Touch-screen walls in the suite to monitor your fantasy team?  In-suite VR headsets for a window into the home team locker room at halftime?  Even more on-demand suite catering options at your fingertips? One thing is for certain: the best is yet to come in the world of premium seating.

About Scott Spencer, President

As the President of Suite Experience Group, Mr. Spencer oversees all aspects of the business, including sales, marketing, and operations.

Contact Scott

2016 NBA Draft Review

It seems like only yesterday that the Cavaliers beat the Warriors in an epic game 7 at Oracle Arena and now only a week later the 2016 Draft is already over. The NBA never stops even in the offseason when there aren’t any games. Here are some of the players and teams that stood out after the draft.

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1. The Phoenix Suns absolutely aced this draft

With the 4th pick the Suns took Dragan Bender, a 7’ 1” Croatian power forward who reminds scouts of Kristaps Porzingis. Bender is extremely skilled and has the potential to be an excellent rim defender as he is long and mobile. Even though Bender was a great pick, their next move was the real gem of this Suns draft.

The Phoenix Suns fleeced the Sacramento Kings when they traded up to get the 8th pick. The Kings did not get even close to a fair return for the pick they gave up. For context here’s how NBA teams view the 13th and 28th pick. At the 13th pick NBA teams generally expect to get a player with the top level potential of an above average starter, but not an All-Star.   At the end of the first round, teams hope to get a solid rotational player off the bench. So let’s review this trade again.

Essentially the Kings traded a player who has the potential to be an All-Star in Marquesse Chriss, a guy who every other NBA team loved, for the chance at an above average starter, and a bench player plus a relatively unknown European shooting guard (Bogdan Bogdanovic). Chriss is a freaky athlete with a pretty jump shot, and a motor that runs extremely hot when he is engaged. If he reaches his full potential he will be one of the rare NBA bigs who can protect the rim and stretch the floor. He had the third most potential of any player in this draft, behind Ben Simmons and Jaylen Brown, but dropped to 8th because of concerns about his polish. At the 8th pick, Chriss was a tremendous value, and the Kings made a huge mistake trading him away

As an added bonus the Suns also picked up Tyler Ulis, who really should have been a first rounder, but fell because teams questioned if a 5’ 9” point guard could succeed in the NBA. Ulis should at the very least be a solid backup point guard behind Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe. In the long term this draft makes the Suns a lot more athletic and versatile, and while the Suns of next year may not contend for much yet, fans should be excited about the excellent group of youngsters the Suns drafted.

2. The Nuggets are going all in on 3-point shooting

With each of their picks the Nuggets took the best shooter available, and it worked out perfectly. They ended up with 4 of the top 5 shooters in the draft with excellent value at every pick. Jamal Murray at the 7th pick was a total steal because he shoots the lights out (he reportedly set the Boston Celtics record for 3-point shots made in a workout), and he is an elite competitor with a great feel for the game. He fell to 7th because of questions about his size and athleticism but he will be a perfect fit next to the super-athletic and long Emmanuel Mudiay.

At picks 15 and 19 the Nuggets took Spaniard Juan Hernangomez and Florida State Seminole Malik Beasley. Hernangomez is an interesting pick because he really blossomed this year in Spain, and looks like he could become one of the playmaking stretch 4’s that NBA GM’s are obsessing over. He will be a great fit next to either Jusuf Nurkic or Nikola Jokic, and is a strong compliment to Kenneth Faried if the Nuggets ever want to go small. I question the Beasley pick a bit is because the Nuggets already have a similar guard in Gary Harris who has shown some really nice potential. On the other hand, if a team can get a guy with Beasley’s potential at #19 they have to take a shot at him. Beasley actually probably would have gone higher in this draft had he not fractured his foot, which prevented him from working out for teams. The former Seminole is an electric athlete and lights out shooter, and should be really effective on a Nuggets team that will likely fast break quite a bit.

With their final pick the Nuggets took 6’ 11” French sharpshooter Petr Cornelie, who provides the team with a really interesting combination of length and shooting. This draft and the development of their young talent should push the Nuggets to be a contender for the 6th through 8th seeds in the West. Their starting lineup will probably have Emmanuel Mudiay at the 1, Jamal Murray at the 2, Danilo Gallinari at the 3, Kenneth Faried at the 4 and Nikola Jokic at the 5 spot. The Nuggets will feature a tremendous amount of shooting and athleticism on the floor at all times, which will allow them to compete with the many high-talent teams out west.

3. Jaylen Brown

Celtics fans hated this pick, but the more I think about it the more I begin to love it. Many experts thought that the Celtics should have taken a guard; either Jamal Murray or Kris Dunn, but they smartly swung for the fences. Brown has as much potential as Ben Simmons because of his rare athleticism, which we really have not seen from a player coming into the NBA since LeBron James. He comes with a ready-made NBA body at a long 6” 7’ and a chiseled 230 pounds. The Georgia native can jump with anyone in the league, and it would not surprise me if he had an over 40 inch vertical leap. The attribute that really separates him athletically is he speed and quickness. Brown has unreal speed and agility for a man his size, which is reminiscent of a young LeBron James and could translate into him becoming an elite defender.

A lot of scouts complained about Jaylen’s college production, but in reality he doesn’t fit as well in the college game as he does in the NBA. In the pros, Brown will be free to constantly attack the basket in a much more open and spaced NBA game. Also from the reports and videos I have seen Brown has made a mechanical adjustment to his jump shot, which has corrected a lot of his prior shooting issues (mainly consistency in the lower body), so look for him to have a vastly improved catch and shoot game.

Overall if Brown develops to his full potential the Celtics will be a scary team in the East who will have the talent and depth to compete with the Cavaliers and Raptors at the top of the East. At the very least Jaylen Brown makes the 2016-17 iteration of the Celtics much more dynamic and exciting than they were in the last year.

About Connor Sprague

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Five Storylines for the 2016-17 NHL Regular Season

The 2015-16 NHL season concluded with the Pittsburgh Penguins raising their second Stanley Cup in the last eight years. Although ice surfaces around the league will soon be melted for summer, June offers an exciting preview of the season to come.

Here’s a look at five storylines to keep an eye on for the upcoming 2016-17 NHL season:

1. Auston Matthews

18 year old phenom, Auston Matthews, is a lock to be the first overall pick by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2016 NHL Entry draft. Matthews is a touted, franchise prospect whose size, skill and versatility compares to Blackhawks star, Jonathan Toews. Will Matthews be able to revitalize a lethargic Toronto franchise? All eyes will be on him as he tries to live up to his big-time billing.

2. NHL in Vegas

The question is when, not if, the NHL will expand to Las Vegas. 2016-17 should be the year in which the NHL decides exactly when an expansion draft will take place. Where will the team play and what will they be named? Expansion into a non-traditional market will certainly be a test for the NHL – it will be interesting to follow this development.

3. Outdoor Games

Outdoor games are a fantastic hockey experience for fans and players alike, connecting the professional game back to its roots on the pond. Annually one of the hockey’s biggest attractions, the NHL will host multiple outdoor games in 2016-17:

  • Heritage Classic: Winnipeg Jets vs. Edmonton Oilers, Oct 15th   [Investors Group Field]
  • Centennial Classic: Detroit Red Wings vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, Jan 1st [BMO Field]
  • Winter Classic: St. Louis Blues vs. Chicago Blackhawks, Jan 2nd [Busch Stadium]
  • Stadium Series: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Philadelphia Flyers, Feb 18th [Heinz Field]

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4. Progression of Connor McDavid

Connor McDavid, touted as a once-in-a-generation-player, saw his rookie season cut short with injury. Nonetheless, the rookie forward posted an astonishing 48 points in 45 games. Can McDavid remain healthy for a full season? McDavid is can’t miss television with hall-of-fame potential.

5. Stamkos Sweepstakes

Free Agent forward, Steven Stamkos, will hit the Free Agent market on July 1st. Stamkos possesses the talent to singlehandedly alter the balance of power in the league depending on where he signs. The two time 50 goal scorer will command a massive contract. Rumors have linked Stamkos to the Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.


NHL fans, don’t miss out on these exciting opportunities in 2016-17. Please contact us to book or click here if you’d like to view fantastic suite opportunities for the upcoming NHL season. SEG retains the largest suite inventory for NHL games. We are pleased to assist you with all your suite needs.

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Infographic: Fast Facts on Living the Suite Life at Super Bowl 50

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Fast Facts on Living the Suite Life at the Big Game

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