Southern Methodist University has come up with a twist on pop-up tailgating for college football games this fall.
The American Athletic Conference school is using tricked-out shipping containers for corporate hospitality outside Gerald J. Ford Stadium. It's a bit of an upgrade over the typical white tents used to present a high-end tailgate experience.
In Dallas, Learfield Sports, SMU's multimedia rights holder, has signed a deal with Block Party Suites, the company marketing the containers, to lease six portable units themed for Mustangs football.
Each container encompasses 500 square feet of space and is outfitted with HD televisions, sofas and tables, ceiling fans and access to private bathrooms. A retractable awning provides shade for those patrons.
They're all set up along an intersection next to the stadium called SMU Boulevard. Block Party Suites, a Dallas-based firm, leases the containers to Learfield fo $3,000 to $5,000 for every home game.
In turn, Learfield, whose local group is branded as Mustang Sports Properties, sells the portable suites for $21,000 to $39,000 for season packages and $3,500 to $7,900 for single games. The high-end price for a single game for 40 people covers game tickets, catered food and an open bar.
Less than two weeks into the sales process, Learfield had sold two of the five available for sale for the season. A third suite has ben reserved for multiple games and two remain available for the entire season. The sixth unit is reserved for internal use.
“Bringing Block Party Suites on as a partner gives us another opportunity to enhance the gameday experience for SMU fans,” SMU Athlletic Rick Hart said in a statement. “SMU offers a great tailgating atmosphere and adding luxury suites should only enhance the Boulevard experience.”
Whether the on-field experience is enhanced remains to be seen . Last season, SMU went 1-11 for the season before hiring Chad Morris as the Mustangs' new head coach.