By: Lauren Godlesky
LANSING – Rental suites inside Lansing Lugnut stadium are being renovated for the 2013 baseball season that could attempt to keep attendance high at games.
Renovations for the five nightly suites include new furnishings, updated cabinetry, better televisions, refrigerators and food stations, said Scott Keith, president and chief executive officer at Lansing Entertainment & Public Facilities Authority. The funds come from the city.
“We put about $150,000 to $200,000 aside each year that would help make renovations to keep the stadium attractive and safe for people coming to enjoy the games,” said Carol Wood, city council president.
The renovations cost around $139,000 to complete.
“Each year we do one or two big projects,” said Nick Brazinksi, assistant general manager for the Lugnuts. “We don’t spend the funds we receive all at once because we have to, so sometimes it gets carried over to the next year.”
A single suite costs $550, which includes 20 tickets and two parking passes. There will be portable walls connecting all 5 suites, which could accommodate groups of up to 100 people when the walls are removed, according to Brazinski
“It gives more people flexibility,” Brazinski said. “In the past you had to buy an extra suite, where some parties could not all be together at once. It gives us the option for larger groups to have more space.”
Keith said the ultimate goal of making yearly renovations is to get more people downtown.
“As a stadium ages you constantly look for different areas to invest in and keep updated with new, interesting changes,” Keith said. “You need to update the furnishing under the demands of the consumer so certainly it (renovations) will improve the overall look of the stadium.”
Last year, about 346,000 people attended the games during the season. Attendance averaged 350,000 throughout the last 4 years.
“Part of the agreement we have with the owners and the team is that we will attract and keep the attendance high at the stadium,” Wood said.
Attendance at games contributes to business for surrounding local vendors.
“I think that the location is perfect,” said Jason Evans, general manager of the Nut House, located adjacent to the stadium.
Evans said the Nut House receives a good amount of business both before and after the games because fans can walk directly across the street for its baseball themed restaurant. Evans said the Nut House sells baseball related foods like hotdogs and draft beer on special.
“We’ve been here every year that the Lugnuts have, so people know what to expect when they come to the Nut House,” Evans said. “Any renovation is great and anything that might be able to attract new fans that might not be able to come downtown before is exciting.”