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SM unit eyes nearly P400M yearly from new arena boxes

Posted on April 09, 2012 09:51:26 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

THE SM group is looking to earn up to P372 million annually from the lease of exclusive corporate boxes at its new events place, the Mall of Asia (MoA) Arena, set to open next month.

“We have 41 boxes to be filled up at the MoA Arena. Right now, we are selling 31 boxes on an annual basis called Premiere Suites, and we have 10 Event Suites, which can be rented out on a per-event basis,” Nicole Mariz C. Deato, business development senior manager of West Avenue Theatres Corp., told BusinessWorld in a telephone interview.

West Avenue Theatres, the operator of the MoA Arena, is a unit of Sy-led mall development unit SM Prime Holdings, Inc.

The 31 Premiere boxes have an individual price range of P9 million to P12 million per year depending on seating capacity, Ms. Deato added.

The rental rate of the 10 Event boxes, on the other hand, will depend on the attraction at the time.

This, as SM is set to open next month the MoA Arena, a P3.5-billion, six-storey structure that will join the MoA Open Concert Grounds as SM’s other major event venue in the Manila Bay area.

Measuring 64,085 square meters in gross floor area, the MoA Arena will have a full seating capacity of 20,000, making it 35% larger than what is dubbed as its primary rival, the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City that can seat as much as 14,775.

The Premiere boxes will offer a measure of convenience for executives looking to attend events at the MoA Arena, Ms. Deato said.

“For one, box patrons no longer have to fall in line at events. We also have dedicated parking slots, and then there is also a VIP lift. Inside the corporate box, you have your own restroom, television, sofa, and mini-bar. Also, we provide access to our exclusive caterer, Raintree,” she said.

At present, nearly 27 boxes have already been reserved on a first-come, first-served basis by various local and foreign firms, with some companies even applying for long-term leases of around three to five years.

“We have already begun leasing the Premiere boxes starting last October, but we are not allowed to divulge the identities of the firms.

We have four [boxes] left, and at present, there are already eight candidates interested to reserve them. We expect the remaining four to be fully leased out by the middle of April,” Ms. Deato said.

Several events are already set to take place at the MOA Arena this year, starting with foreign artist Lady Gaga slated for a performance in May.

Shares of SM Prime, West Avenue Theatres’ parent, dipped by 0.60% on Wednesday. -- F. J. G. de la Fuente
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