The BB&T Center's new all-inclusive Club RED opened in October and immediately became one of the most unique and innovative arena clubs in the sports and entertainment industry. Its location, furnishings, size, and cuisine make it completely different from any other club around. FloridaPanthers.com took this opportunity, just over a month into the 2013 Cats season, to sit down with team President Michael R. Yormark to talk about the Club…
What has the feedback been from Club RED members and other people that have experienced it first hand?
Yormark: "The feedback has been tremendous. Our members and guests are truly excited to have access to one of the most unique and enjoyable live sports and entertainment experiences around. With the incredible cuisine, furnishings, customer service and a great location, Club RED truly is one of a kind."
Have their been any changes to the Club since it opened in October?
Yormark: "The Club is already one of the finest venues of its kind in the industry but we are still constantly looking for ways to make it even better. In saying that, we’ve taken a proactive approach to maintaining the integrity of the club, while improving every conceivable detail that is offered from the location of certain food stations, to the amount and positioning of our staff to the programs that are shown on the TVs. The journey toward perfection never stops in a Club like this."
Are you fighting the perception of people who see the Club on television or in the arena and don’t understand that many of the guests are watching the game or spending more time in the actual lounge area?
Yormark: "Certainly we understand why some people may think that but we have learned very quickly that Club RED guests watch the games in a very different way from the majority of our fans. Yes, some of them like to spend more time taking in the amenities that the Club has to offer, but quite a few also like to watch the game from the balcony or bar area, with the Club’s location affording an incredible view of the action right at center ice. It’s an interesting problem to have and we are looking in to some ways to make sure that the majority of our members enjoy the game from their seats during play."
With that being said, how do you get more people in the seats during game and concert action?
Yormark: "As I said, we are looking at into enticing the people to sit in the best seats in the house. We are discussing internally ways to improve that aspect as there’s no better thrill than seeing live hockey action up close, sitting behind the benches where you can really hear, see and feel the game action."
How are sales for the Club going since it opened in October?
Yormark: "We’re excited as we are close to 70-percent sold out. Sales have picked up significantly since the start of the season. Word of mouth from those that own seats has helped and with fans getting to see the Club in action, more and more people are talking about it and more and more people are taking tours for themselves and eventually purchasing seats, whether they’re full memberships or hockey only memberships."
When do you think that the Club will be sold out?
Yormark: "With the way our sales staff has attacked the market place in being proactive in selling the Club and the with word of mouth and positive marketing and PR helping the process, we truly think that the Club will be sold out by the beginning of the next hockey season."
It seems like selling the Club out will help a lot with the perception…
Yormark: "We believe so. With what Dale Tallon has done in putting a product on the ice both in the present and for the future, we’re extremely excited about our hockey team and that will only help our sales in every area. You’ve already seen young players Jonathan Huberdeau, Drew Shore and Erik Gudbranson as well as veterans Brian Campbell and Tomas Fleischmann have a significant impact. And it will only get better when we add more pieces of the puzzle such as Nick Bjugstad, Quinton Howden and Jacob Markstrom and others.
"As we have seen last season when the Panthers won their first Southeast Division Championship in history and took the eventual Eastern Conference Champions New Jersey Devils to double overtime of Game 7, South Florida has grown to love hockey and will support a winning product. I know that all of our Club RED members believe that as well and selling out the Club will only enhance the atmosphere at the BB&T Center."