The Philadelphia Union pro soccer club, which said last week that it had sold 9,000 season tickets at its 18,000-seat stadium, isn't relying just on walk-ins to make the rest of its nut.
Besides the $5 million raised from season tickets, the Union hopes to raise an additional $2 million-plus at its I-95/I-476-accessible riverside stadium, now rising by the Commodore Barry Bridge in Chester, by marketing business packages to companies in Philadelphia, Wilmington, South Jersey, and the burbs:
Thirty corporate suites, each seating about 15 patrons, on the 27th-row level, for an average of $50,000 a year, "which is cheaper [per seat] than buying club seats at the Eagles,"
says Union president Tom Veit.
Crozer-Keystone Health System has agreed to take a box, investment firm Graham Partners Inc. has another, and about half the others are "committed but not signed yet" to three-year minimum contracts, vice president Mike Quarino told me.
The club is also pitching:
Ten "field-level tables" at $10,000-plus per year apiece; each seats four.
One hundred and fifty fieldside seats, at $2,000 each.
Twenty-eight "Superclub" seats, 14 behind each bench, with VIP-room club privileges, at $7,500 each.
GMAC L.L.C. is shutting a residential-mortgage office in Costa Mesa, Calif., and reducing its workforce in Charlotte, N.C., laying off a total of 330, as the former General Motors Corp. loan unit struggles to trim its losses.
The work will be moved to Fort Washington, where GMAC employs almost 2,000 in its ResCap and Ally Bank units, Gina Proia, spokeswoman in the company's Detroit headquarters, told me.
That doesn't mean GMAC's hiring here. Just that it'll be keeping people busy here who might otherwise have been laid off.
Fort Washington was picked because it is one of GMAC's largest remaining employment centers, Proia said. It was home to about 1,900 of GMAC's 6,000-plus mortgage workers as of last year. The company also lends money to buy cars, and operates Ally Bank to raise cash to fund its loans.
Meanwhile, top officers at GMAC's former commercial mortgage affiliate (now part of Warren Buffett-backed Berkadia L.L.C.) have set up their own mortgage-finance firm.
David Creamer, ex-chairman of GMAC Commercial Mortgage Holding Corp., and the company's former president, Charles Dunleavy Jr., former chief financial officer Wayne Hoch, and former general counsel Robert Schwartz are back in business as Witmer Partners L.L.C. Among other ventures, they're financing Tavernier Capital Partners L.L.C., a Tampa, Fla., mortgage banker headed by Allen Moczul, a former GMAC Commercial Mortgage lender.
"The partnership," Creamer said in a statement, will "offer clients the best FHA-insured multifamily, senior-housing, and health-care lending."
Other GMAC veterans now run separate commercial real estate finance firms, including Philadelphia-based Ventras Capital Advisers L.L.C., and Bank of New York Mellon Corp.'s Urdang mortgage group.
Lee Evan Tabas, boss in the 1980s and 1990s of Narberth-based Royal Bank America (he's still an investor but his brother, Robert, runs it now, under scrutiny of federal regulators), says he's busy hunting down "six-figure business funding" deals for his loan company, tabasfunding.com, of Haverford.
"Sometimes, when the banks say 'no,' we could be a good alternative," Lee Evan Tabas told me. "Like an angel investor," he looks for small firms in any industry with "growth potential."
Sample clients: Ameritech Media, a Harrisburg ad agency; My Brothers Pub, of Levittown; an early Saladworks franchisee, a microwave-tower builder he won't name, and a maker of cosmetics (he also won't name) that needed a few hundred thousand more than its bank and friendly government agencies would give to finish a move into a new warehouse.
Are there a lot of banks saying 'No' right now, compared with the number of solvent borrowers?
Tabas sighed. "There's more demand" from would-be borrowers these days. And lenders like Tabas - as well as banks - "have plenty of money, they want to lend money."
But there's a mismatch: "Because of the economy there's fewer businesses" that look ready to grow, he told me. "The potential isn't there."