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Press Boxes - Sales to High Schools and Small Colleges Growing

2014 is off to a record start for American Press Box with press box installations scheduled all across the country from Pennsylvania to Kansas to California.

Customers find our turnkey process for adding a press box to any new or existing grandstand allows for fast turnaround from design to installation at costs well below the market. Our design and install process eliminates architectural and engineering costs typically required to build a press box and those savings are passed on in full. These savings plus our low cost of the press box offer savings of up to 30%.

American Press Box (APB) is the leading supplier of press boxes, VIP suites, and concession stands for high schools and small colleges throughout the US.

Lake Travis High School Two-Story Press Box

laketravis1

See Photo Gallery for more photos.

After winning five straight football state championships, Lake Travis High School located in Austin Texas began work on a complete renovation of their football stadium. This renovation included a new artificial turf field, sound system and scoreboard. To culminate the renovation, Lake Travis needed a new press box with space for TV and radio broadcasters, as well as space for the home and visiting coaching staff. This new press box also needed to complement the aesthetic appeal of the rest of the stadium.

American Press Box partnered with Whitley Manufacturing to provide Lake Travis High School with a two-story press box with a reinforced roof deck area to film from. The interior of the press box has a simple, yet highly functional layout that provides multiple separated spaces for every need. Through the use of modular manufacturing processes, the press box was built off-site and then assembled at the stadium within a matter of hours. The end product is a stylish and inventive press box of superb quality that will see several more generations of championship winning teams.

Lake Travis Floor Plan

 

Pro Stadium Video Scoreboards at High School Pricing – complete system installed for less than $60,000

Pro Stadium Scoreboards at High School Pricing  (CLICK HERE for more information)

Virtual Scoreboard

Live or Recorded Video

Press Boxes – “GOOD, FAST, CHEAP”

One of my mentors in the advertising business used to quote an old adage to clients; “Good, fast, or cheap. Pick two.” The theory is you can’t have all three.  For the most part this axiom holds up in virtually every business selling customized products.

When considering a new, custom press box if time is the critical factor one of the other factors, price or quality will suffer.  If you are seeking the lowest price, quality or delivery will be negatively impacted. And if quality is the most important attribute you are seeking then expect the press box price to go up or the time for delivery will be longer.

American Press Box is the rare exception to the rule. We offer the the highest quality, code compliant press boxes, at prices 30% less than the competition, and reduce the timeline for completion by 25%.  Contact us for a free quote and get all three critical components – “Good, Fast, and Cheap.”

Modular Press Box Efficiencies

McNicholas High School Case Study

About McNicholas High School – Archbishop McNicholas High School is a Catholic school located in Cincinnati, Ohio with a mission of providing a safe, nurturing, creative, and challenging environment where individuals can grow in knowledge and faith.

Their Need – The High School needed to undertake an upgrade to their aging athletic venue and facilities.  This needed to include new seating, steps, ramps, and a large custom press box that could accommodate the local media, home and opposing team staff and dignitaries, and provide filming platforms shielded from the elements.

Our Solution – To accommodate the school’s requests, American Press Box and our prefabricated building supplier, Whitley Manufacturing, designed and built a custom press box at a 12′-0″ width, providing substantially more interior space than the more typical 8′-0″ width of standard prefabricated press boxes.  To provide dual-function use, rear windows face the adjoining girls softball team, allowing for multiple uses for the same facility.

The press box is entered via covered platforms, which also serve as ‘camera decks’ that are protected from inclement weather.  The interior of the press box is well appointed with ample counter space and electrical service to comfortably accommodate a full complement of school district, athletics, and media visitors.

Press Box Detail

 

Prefab Press Box Benefits

 

 

On-Site Construction vs Prefabricated Press Box

We are contacted regularly by construction companies and architects trying to determine the benefits of purchasing a prefabricated press box versus building the press box on-site. We clearly favor prefabricated boxes because that is what we sell but more importantly, prefabricated press boxes offer unmatched benefits.

First and foremost is the cost. In some cases the cost for building on-site is double versus installing a prefabricated press box or luxury suite. In one instance we were able to reduce the owner’s cost by half. Typically a prefabricated press box will deliver a 30% savings.

The reasons on-site construction is less efficient are many. First, design and architectural plans are needed. Structural engineering plans and approvals are required. In the case of prefabricated buildings these steps are for the most part eliminated.

Prefabricated press boxes can be installed in a day.

When constructing on-site the construction company faces a number of challenges that are not faced when installing a prefabricated building. Weather delays, security, theft of materials, delivery costs, and most importantly labor costs.

Building at elevation also drives up the cost. The building will be constructed on top of the understructure. This means all of the materials will have to be delivered to the elevated platform and that means long-term rental of equipment and in some cases higher labor rates for working above ground. All of these costs are eliminated with a prefabricated press box.

Installation can be accomplished in a day with the rental of one or two cranes depending on the size of the press box.

 

Two Story Press Box Popularity

We have been seeing an increasing interest in two story press boxes recently. Buyers as always, are looking to control costs but also have needs for additional space in their press box facility.  Prefabricated, two-story press boxes meet both needs.

A two-story design effectively doubles the space of a press box and adds tremendous flexibility as to its use. The lower level can be used for any number of purposes including concession stands, restrooms, or storage.

The overall cost savings is derived from eliminating the need for a steel understructure and a much easier and less costly installation process.

Press Box

Two Story Press Box with Storage Facility

Calculating the Return on Investment for a VIP Suite

Is the cost of a VIP Suite for a high school or small college really worth the investment?  Answering the question is dependent on a number of variables but most important is your school’s ability to sell access or sponsorship.  The critical step is to determine how much to charge and if your customer base is willing to pay your price for access to a VIP Suite.

To help answer the question we provide the following example of investing $140,000 for a fully operational 10’ x 40’ VIP Suite with restroom and luxury features.  This investment in your infrastructure includes design, construction, and installation.  A very reasonable, and code compliant, capacity for a suite of this size is 48 people at one time.

10’ x 40’ VIP Suite with 48 Seats

As with any investment you must look at the time required to realize a return.  We believe a reasonable time frame for a VIP Suite to begin showing a profit is seven (7) years. If seven years is acceptable to your organization you will need to generate $20,000 of revenue per year. Your options for selling access are many.  The most obvious is selling sponsorships. Here’s an example of how you might offer a variety of sponsorship packages priced to generate a minimum of $20,000 on an annual basis.  You can offer one package or any combination.

Package A Package B Package C Package D Package E
Number of Sponsorships Available

4

6

8

12

24

Number of Tickets to All Events

12

8

6

4

2

Sponsorship Price

 $5,000

 $3,375

 $2,600

 $1,800

 $1,000

Cost per ticket/per year

 $416.67

 $421.88

 $433.33

 $450.00

 $500.00

Cost per event/6 home games

 $69.44

 $70.31

 $72.22

 $75.00

 $83.33

 

Is your school capable of selling four sponsorships at a price of $5,000 annually for access to a VIP Suite and seating?  Or 24 – $1,000 sponsorships?  Maybe you can sell for more or less.  It is up to you to determine the right price.  If the price is less then your time frame for a return will lengthen.  If you can sell for more then your time frame shortens for a return.

Speaking in financial terms you can think of this $140,000 investment as an annuity. In today’s market an annuity generating 5% interest every year would be considered a good investment.  If you can forecast a 10’x 40’ VIP suite at your school generating revenue of  $15,000 to $20,000 a year the return is 10 to 14%.  And the answer is a definitive YES to the question; is a VIP Suite worth the investment?  If, in your judgment, the annual revenue were less than 5% of the cost, which in this example is $7,000, we would not recommend moving forward with a VIP Suite based strictly on an ROI analysis.

Cost Analysis of Adding a Press Box to Your Grandstand

How much does a press box cost? We are asked that question every day and it is a bit like asking, “How long is a rope?”  The answer depends on many variables.  A better question might be; “What is the most efficient way to design, build and install a press box?”  This article offers a description of the various ways organizations approach the process and a general comparison of the costs involved.

There are six key components to the overall cost of a press box: 1) Foundation 2) Understructure 3) The Press box 4) Installation 5) Professional Fees for Design and Engineering 6) Finishes and Interior Options

Organizations wishing to add a press box or VIP suite to an existing grandstand have three options to accomplish the job.  They can hire a general contractor to manage the process, manage the process directly working their way through all six components, or work with a company that can offer a turnkey process.

We have found the most expensive is the first option – hiring a general contractor.  Typically the general contractor will not have a great deal of experience building and designing a press box, if any.  They rarely choose to purchase a pre-fabricated press box and decide to build it themselves because it is in their best self-interests.  All of the design work is original and therefore costly.

The second option of directly managing the process is much like the first but without some of the fees and mark-ups charged by the general contractor.  This is a time consuming job and the savings are minimal.

The third option, and obviously the one we promote, is working with a company that can offer a turnkey process.  The savings can be up to 30%.

With all that said, let’s look at some specifics:

1. Foundation – the costs for a foundation are fairly standard and vary only slightly from market to market.  You’ll need a design, concrete footers and a concrete pad.  For example, a foundation for a 10’ X 36’ press box you can expect to pay between $7,500 and $8,500.  These costs are based on normal soil conditions.  Less than ideal soil conditions will increase the price.
2. Understructure – the understructure is made of aluminum and steel.  Your understructure will require engineering designs and approvals.  Costs will vary depending on the size of the press box and elevation height.  And most importantly how you or your contractor goes about sourcing the steel and aluminum. APB eliminates the cost of original designs and has negotiated preferential pricing for steel and aluminum.  Our price for the understructure is included with our final quote and represents a significant portion of the savings we offer when compared to self-managing or using a general contractor for the project.
3. The Press Box – Your choice here is whether to build a custom structure or choose a pre-fabricated building.  APB offers only pre-fabricated buildings for a number of reasons.  On-site construction comes with many problems including weather delays, security, increased liability costs, and quality control.  The cost for a pre-fabricated press box can be lower or higher depending on the materials used for a custom design.  However when comparing pre-fabricated press boxes APB again is the value play.  We enjoy volume pricing not available to the typical general contractor or a school purchasing just one unit.
4. Installation – this includes erecting the understructure, crane rental for placing the press box, securing the press box, hooking up power, and final walk through. APB’s experience installing press boxes is unmatched.  The entire process takes no more than a couple of days.  Our installation costs are low because of our years of experience and best practices.
5. Professional Fees for Design and Engineering – APB does not charge for design work.  Costs associated when designing yourself or using a general contractor range from $2,500 to $25,000.
6. Finish and Interior Accessories – APB offers a standard package of options and finishes.  All of which can be upgraded.  We can also include restrooms, wet bars, upgraded flooring, upgraded lighting, and any feature you desire.  This is the one area that is under your total control in terms of how much or little to spend and is based only on your imagination and budget.

If your organization is seeking to add a press box or VIP suite please contact American Press Box for a free, no obligation quote.  We will be happy to discuss your project in detail and provide any guidance needed.  We look forward to serving you and meeting your press box needs.

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Press Boxes Can Generate Revenue for High School Football Programs

According to American Press Box LLC, a provider of prefabricated press boxes, a properly designed press box can generate revenue for high school booster clubs and athletic departments. The company offers a low cost solution for adding VIP suites to any existing high school grandstand or bleacher press box facility.

Dave Giffen, President and CEO of American Press Box (APB), believes combining VIP suites with press boxes can be beneficial for many high school football programs. He explained, “The concept is not right for every high school football program. On the other hand, schools with strong fan bases and ongoing support from alumni can definitely create a new revenue stream through the addition of VIP Suites to the press box facility and bleacher, grandstand complex.”

Professional and college programs have been earning literally millions of dollars over the past 30 years offering suites to their corporate fans. The cost of construction however has made the concept unrealistic at the high school level. Giffen explained the cost to construct a VIP Suite, “Adding a VIP Suite to an existing grandstand can be an expensive proposition when doing so requires on-site construction. For example a small, simple 10’ by 10’ addition can cost as much as $90,000. Our turnkey process, using a prefabricated suite, is half the cost. When combined with the addition of a press box a 10’ by 10’ suite addition can be as low as $20,000.”
On the revenue side of the equation Giffen says the cost can be recovered in three to five years, “The time frame for recovering the cost and generating revenue depends largely on the financial strength of the fan base and alumni support. A 10’ x10’ suite can be sold on an individual or corporate basis and easily generate $5,000 annually.“

The width of a standard suite from APB is 10’ and the length is typically quoted in 10’ increments. Custom sizes are commonly quoted. The interiors are all custom designed per the buyers specs. “Virtually anything that is desired for functionality or appearance can be added,” said Giffen.

Giffen explained the ideal time to add suites to a high school football grandstand or bleacher complex is when adding or replacing the press box. “Many schools find their grandstand long outlives the original press box and it needs to be replaced. Potential liability issues are a very common reason for replacing old, unsafe press boxes. The economics for VIP suites make the most sense when building a completely new press box or replacing an existing structure. The added cost for the VIP suites can be offset relatively quickly. A new, and substantial revenue stream will be seen within 5 years. Bottom line is aggressive athletic departments and booster clubs can benefit from VIP suites.”

APB is the only supplier of prefabricated press boxes that offers a turnkey process from design to final installation. There is no need to pay for design work or hire general contractors. Giffen says the turnkey process is one of the main reasons their press boxes (and suites) are so cost competitive, “We coordinate everything from design to manufacturing to installation. Our customers have one point of contact for every piece of the construction including the under-structure.”

Giffen also pointed out the timeline from inception to final walk through and opening day is shortened, “We are very focused on this business and therefore we are able leverage our experience on virtually every job. This experience cuts the completion time down dramatically. Our standard designs can be installed in less than 12 weeks from the date of order.