THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
Steve Bailey | Downtown

Boston sampler

Email|Print| Text size + By Steve Bailey
Globe Columnist / February 1, 2008

So you are not going to the Super Bowl - again. But for all those loyal New England Patriots fans who have grown old sitting on that long, long waiting list for season tickets, there is new hope for next season. The hitch: Are you willing to pay $700 for a $125 ticket?

No one is talking right now, but later this month National Amusements, the big theater chain run out of Dedham by Sumner Redstone's daughter, Shari, will unveil a new partnership with the Patriots that will offer season ticket packages at premium prices. The deal grows out of the Kraft family's ambitious new $350 million entertainment and retail complex, Patriot Place, beside Gillette Stadium, which will include a 14-screen Showcase cinema.

This will not be just another National Amusements cinema. At a cost of more than $40 million, the complex will include both a theater and an adjacent building that will be used to stage Vegas-style musical and comedy shows. And on game days it will morph into "The VIP Pavilion at Showcase Live!"

According to a letter outlining the plan, the packages will offer "hard-to-get lower bowl seats in Gillette Stadium" and access to the "VIP Lounge" in the Showcase building, including a two-hour "gourmet buffet" before the game and an hour in the lounge after the game. The packages also include parking and even visits by the Pat's talented cheerleaders.

The costs, you ask? You have two choices: a "six-year membership option," which costs $12,500 a year for two season tickets, or "a three-year membership option," which costs $14,000 for two tickets.

The tickets are between the goal line and the 10-yard line in seats with a current face value of $125. The new packages work out to $700 a ticket for the three-year option and $625 for six years. (The annual 3 percent escalator not included.)

It is not clear how many tickets the Patriots are providing National Amusements. But an executive involved in the deal says none of the tickets will come from the current allotment for season ticket holders. Instead, he said, the tickets will come from those the team now provides various corporate sponsors.

Last week I told you about the checkered financial past of Bob Feige, the executive director of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. The board has launched an investigation. But among those who would like Feige to hang on to his $200,000-a-year job is the Internal Revenue Service.

According to a deposition Feige gave last month in a lawsuit he lost, he owes the IRS about $500,000 in unpaid payroll taxes from yet another of his companies that failed. Feige said he has had "a couple of conversations" with the IRS about his new position at Mass. Hort, but it has not attached his salary. In the deposition, Feige acknowledges he also owes a $3.6 million judgment against him by the former owner of Michael Benes Communications, an ad agency Feige bought, and that he owed another company, Princeton Capital, $1.9 million.

Feige says he has discussed filing for bankruptcy a number of times. "I can see a path where I end up there," he said in the deposition. "I'm not anxious to do that. You know, I don't know. I don't have a solution that allows me to pay all these people off."

In a statement, Feige said yesterday: "I am confident that when the Board considers each of these issues, they will conclude that I have always acted legally and ethically." A Mass. Hort spokesman said the group is expected to conclude its investigation in 30 days. For the board, Feige's deposition is must reading.

Neighborhood news. Judge Allan van Gestel ruffled the feathers of his bosses and fellow justices on his way to retirement. (See my column from last November.) But if van Gestel, the man most responsible for turning the business section of the state's Superior Court into such a success, was tired, as he diplomatically told me last year, he has caught his breath and is going back to work.

Van Gestel, 72, has just been hired to arbitrate complex business disputes by JAMS, The Resolution Experts, a national alternative dispute resolution company. There is a bit of irony here: One of the reasons van Gestel thought the state's business court was so important was to keep justice from migrating to just such private forums. He's obviously not so ready to hang up his gavel.

Steve Bailey is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at bailey@globe.com or at 617-929-2902.

more stories like this

  • Email
  • Email
  • Print
  • Print
  • Single page
  • Single page
  • Reprints
  • Reprints
  • Share
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Comment
 
  • Share on DiggShare on Digg
  • Tag with Del.icio.us Save this article
  • powered by Del.icio.us
Your Name Your e-mail address (for return address purposes) E-mail address of recipients (separate multiple addresses with commas) Name and both e-mail fields are required.
Message (optional)
Disclaimer: Boston.com does not share this information or keep it permanently, as it is for the sole purpose of sending this one time e-mail.