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Deathwatch Ultimatum: On the Blue Seats Pricing Scheme

An analysis of the relative cost of a seat at both Blue Seats, the new LES sports bar, named after the cheap seats at MSG, and at MSG, in the blue seats.

Blue Seats opened this weekend with one of the worst sports bar pricing schemes of all time: Standing room, Free; Seats, $50/hr; VIP Seats, $150/hr. This for, yes, a sports bar on the Lower East Side—a neighborhood flush with both heavy drinkers and bars with TV screens, ie. drunk people with options. In our mind, this plan that Blue Seats has, to go on profit margin over drink volume, can't work here. So it's going to go like this: If the owners of Blue Seats don't change their pricing policy by 5 PM today, EST, we're going to put Blue Seats on the Deathwatch.

We agree with the growing crowd that $50/hr for a regular table or $150/hr for VIP seating is an absolute insult to the sports bar genre, not to mention its patrons. Furthermore, this is the Lower East Side we're talking about and there is no Jay-Z-type celebrity owner here to speak of. Blue Seats ownership: you have until 5 PM to be in touch with your new pricing plan, or the Deathwatch is is. We're inking the stamp now.

BONUS: Here's another noted into the Eater Complaints Dept., by way of follow-up to the first:

From: [an eater]
Date: Monday, September 10, 2007
To: eater complaints dept.
Subject: Blue seats?.Do they know who they are?

I had a similar and equally horrendous experience yesterday at Blue Seats. I went with a friend to check the place out. I traveled all way from UES to the lower east side just to check the place out. I loved the place at first sight. Although the place is kind of small and narrow, its really nicely done with tons of tv’s to see every game. We met the owners who were very nice?.then it went downhill.

First of all, there was no food available, which is fine, if you are going to compensate in other ways, but they actually still expected people to meet the ridiculous minimums at the tables. The private back room and upstairs were completely empty, as of the start of the games, as were the majority of booths, but the owners did not want to seat anything but “big parties.” Shouldn’t the owners of a sports bar know that once a game starts, people are staying at whatever bar they are at? Nobody else is coming! So?.rather than seat us at a booth or “private seating area” we were told we could just find a place to stand. The owner however did try to accommodate us. He told us he would allow us to sit at a booth if we met the two hour, four person minimum. That’s $50 bucks and hour PER PERSON. So?..for the honor of sitting in a booth, (which we were told we might be asked to leave if a party showed up) we would have to fork over $400 dollars. Sure, alcohol comes out of that, but can two people really drink $400 dollars worth of alcohol in 2 hours. My friend even offered to pay for seats in the private seating area for an hour, but we were turned down. So?instead of making $100 bucks off us, they made ZERO. And?they will make ZERO from us in future revenue from my friend, myself and any and all of our friends.

Maybe someone should educate these people?..the blue seats at MSG were the Cheap seats! This is a lower east side bar, not a Madison avenue country club.