Sports Arenas Turn to Luxury Fashion – WWD

In November, UBS Arena at Belmont . Park, home of the NHL New York Islanders franchise, unveiled the first installment of a $2 billion makeover that includes an Islanders team store sold by Paul Price, formerly of Burberry, carrying products Products cost up to $1,500.

The next day, Sports & Entertainment Monument, owner of the NBA franchise Washington Wizards, appointed designer Brett Johnson as art director, a role that will involve designing wardrobes for the Wizards team, merchandise for fans and Build experiences that go beyond watching games and concerts.

UBS and Monumental are two examples of large-scale venues entering the luxury sector to enhance their overall experience.

Scott Malkin, Value Retail founder and owner of New York Islanders, said the company will begin building Belmont Park Village, a network of high-end brand stores, in the first quarter of 2022, with is scheduled to open in early 2024. Belmont Park, upon completion, will be home to an arena, shopping mall and a 4-star boutique hotel.

Johnson said he couldn’t divulge in depth what he was developing for Monumental, but said he wanted the experience to be “achievable, desirable and accessible to all”.

“I think the problem, especially with the NBA, is it’s an 82-game season with 41 home games,” Johnson explained. “Mid-to-smaller market teams are thinking about how we can engage a different audience to get fans off the couches and into the stadium and give them an experience they don’t. can be obtained anywhere else?”

Johnson said he suggested installing chandeliers throughout the arena’s lounge to create a new setting, and shared the idea of ​​opening a lounge where guests could host events and parties. spare.

“Talking to a good friend who is a sponsor at the stadium, I talked about the bar/lounge we had planned and he said it made him want to go – and he is a season ticket holder who doesn’t go to a single game,” Johnson said. “To change his point of view, I think a lot has to be said.”

Arenas have struggled during the lockdown as they are unable to host sporting events or concerts – although a few have been temporarily converted into voting centers and COVID testing or vaccination sites -19. “Atlanta Falcons are the champions of that,” Johnson said.

However, arenas are starting to find ways to up their game and chic fashion looks are one answer – at least for UBS and Monumental.

Value Retail has hired Price and a number of veterans from brands including Gucci, Zegna and La Rinascente. Johnson makes luxury menswear that costs upwards of $5,600 for a cashmere-trimmed fleece jacket. He said in November that he was looking for a watch partner for Wizards. His goal is to help players accumulate assets after their professional career ends, including jewelry and watches, and wants the guests present in the arena to learn crafting skills. effects of these products.

“Not everyone is likely to see or be exposed to these things on a daily basis,” Johnson added. “If you approach a new generation and they see these things and are educated about them, you get a different perspective. I want people to feel a different emotion when entering an arena.” Sports Arenas Turn to Luxury Fashion – WWD


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