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March 30, 2010 5:35 PM

Despite Layoffs, Firms Still Want Those Sweet Stadium Suites

Posted by Brian Baxter

Although many large law firms spent the past year reducing head count, not all of them are giving up pricey seats at sporting events.

Minnesota Lawyer reports that a majority of the luxury box suites at Target Field, the new home of the Minnesota Twins, will be purchased by law firms eager to entertain business clients.

Several major Am Law 200 firms that are based in Minneapolis, such as Dorsey & Whitney and Faegre & Benson, have bought premier ticket packages despite letting go of lawyers and staffers in the last year. The firms claim that buying stadium suites, especially during a recession, is an important tool for courting clients.

"It's a great forum for helping to building relationships," Bob Kleiber, a marketing and communications manager at Dorsey, told Minnesota Lawyer.

While some might argue that lunch or dinner meetings could accomplish the same goal for less, Kleiber, an avowed baseball fan, told Minnesota Lawyer there's no substitute for a good ballgame.

"[Dorsey did an] analysis and we clearly viewed it as a strong business development vehicle," Kleiber said. "We've been with the Twins a long time."

Other large Minneapolis firms like Briggs and Morgan and Gray Plant Mooty have joined Dorsey and Faegre in purchasing ticket packages to local pro teams. Briggs, which advised the Twins on the financing for their new stadium, has a suite right behind home plate for Twins games, Minnesota Lawyer reports.

And law firm lust for stadium suites isn't limited to Minneapolis.

During the National Football League's annual scouting combine a month ago at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the league's Indianapolis Colts, we noticed that Indianapolis firm Baker & Daniels was the sponsor for club seats that provide some of the best sight lines and other accoutrements for spectators.

The firm signed the six-year rights deal in 2007, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal.

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