Cost Analysis of Adding a Press Box to your Grandstands

How much does a press box cost?

We are asked that question every day and it is a bit like asking, “How long is a rope?” The answer depends on many variables. A better question might be; “What is the most efficient way to design, build and install a press box?”  This article offers a description of the various ways organizations approach the process and a general comparison of the costs involved.

There are six key components to the overall cost of a press box:

1) Foundation
2) Understructure
3) The Press box
4) Installation
5) Professional Fees for Design and Engineering
6) Finishes and Interior Options

Organizations wishing to add a press box or VIP suite to an existing grandstand have three options to accomplish the job.  They can:

1) Hire a general contractor to manage the process
2) Manage the process directly working their way through all six components, or
3) Work with a company that can offer a turnkey process.

We have found the most expensive is the first option – hiring a general contractor. Typically the general contractor will not have a great deal of experience building and designing a press box, if any. They rarely choose to purchase a pre-fabricated press box and decide to build it themselves because it is in their best self-interests. All of the design work is original and therefore costly.

The second option of directly managing the process is much like the first but without some of the fees and mark-ups charged by the general contractor. This is a time consuming job and the savings are minimal.

The third option, and obviously the one we promote, is working with a company that can offer a turnkey process. The savings can be up to 30%.

With all that said, let’s look at some specifics:

1) Foundation – the costs for a foundation are fairly standard and vary only slightly from market to market. You’ll need a design, concrete footers and a concrete pad.  For example, a foundation for a 10’ X 36’ press box you can expect to pay between $7,500 and $8,500. These costs are based on normal soil conditions. Less than ideal soil conditions will increase the price.

2) Understructure – the understructure is made of aluminum and steel. Your understructure will require engineering designs and approvals. Costs will vary depending on the size of the press box and elevation height. And most importantly how you or your contractor goes about sourcing the steel and aluminum. APB eliminates the cost of original designs and has negotiated preferential pricing for steel and aluminum. Our price for the understructure is included with our final quote and represents a significant portion of the savings we offer when compared to self-managing or using a general contractor for the project.

3) The Press Box – Your choice here is whether to build a custom structure or choose a pre-fabricated building. APB offers only pre-fabricated buildings for a number of reasons. On-site construction comes with many problems including weather delays, security, increased liability costs, and quality control. The cost for a pre-fabricated press box can be lower or higher depending on the materials used for a custom design. However when comparing pre-fabricated press boxes APB again is the value play. We enjoy volume pricing not available to the typical general contractor or a school purchasing just one unit.

4) Installation – this includes erecting the understructure, crane rental for placing the press box, securing the press box, hooking up power, and final walk through. APB’s experience installing press boxes is unmatched. The entire process takes no more than a couple of days. Our installation costs are low because of our years of experience and best practices.

5) Professional Fees for Design and Engineering – APB does not charge for design work. Costs associated when designing yourself or using a general contractor range from $2,500 to $25,000.

6) Finish and Interior Accessories – APB offers a standard package of options and finishes. All of which can be upgraded. We can also include restrooms, wet bars, upgraded flooring, upgraded lighting, and any feature you desire. This is the one area that is under your total control in terms of how much or little to spend and is based only on your imagination and budget.

If your organization is seeking to add a press box or VIP suite, please contact American Press Box for a free, no-obligation quote. We will be happy to discuss your project in detail and provide any guidance needed. We look forward to serving you and meeting your press box needs.

Karen Crane