Last of Diddle Arena luxury suites leased

Beth Sewell

The last three Diddle Arena luxury suites have been leased, ending a one-year selling spree of the 16 available spots by Western administrators.

Athletics director Wood Selig said 11 of the 16 suites were leased by local corporations when the suites were first opened to the public in February 2001.

Selig said it took longer to sell the remaining suites. The last remaining suite was leased in August, he said.

“The way we look at it, we sold out four or five months before season,” Selig said. “Maybe we should have built 20.”

The last three suites were leased by Atmos Energy Corporation – formerly Western Kentucky Gas – a group of State Farm Insurance agents and South Central Bank.

All 16 suites were leased on five-year contracts and carried a price tag of $27,500.

Selig said the suites, measuring 400 square feet and featuring leather seats, carpet, two televisions and private bathrooms for the suite level, surpass many suites featured in professional basketball arenas.

“Even though our suites are clear at the top of the arena, they’re still only about 17 rows from the court,” Selig said. “The NBA’s closest is 24 or 25.”

Selig said selling the 16 suites wasn’t a difficult task because of the incentives. Each suite will have advertising space provided above it so owners can display their name or company. Since 13 of the 16 suites went to corporations, highly visible advertising space was a major selling point.

The suite lease also comes with 16 tickets and four visitor passes to every game, eight parking passes and the option to occupy the suite at any other function held at Diddle such as concerts.

Athletics manager Craig Biggs said luxury suites are becoming a standard in every new arena built and Western refuses to be an exception.

“It’s a good source of revenue and a good way to take care of your larger donors,” Biggs said. “I hope everyone has a positive reaction to everything we’ve been doing as far as the entire project at Diddle.”

Reach Beth Sewell at [email protected]