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Cubs fans enjoy the view from the skyboxes at Principal Park.

Watch an April Ballgame In the Comfort of a Skybox

The forecast for today calls for a high temperature of 50 degrees. That’s perhaps a little chillier than you might like for the season opener game of the Iowa Cubs—unless you’re tucked into the warmed confines of a skybox at Principal Park.

Gone are the days when a too-hot sun, or too-chilled air, greeted you at the old ball park grandstand. Now you can tuck yourself and up to 19 friends or business associates into a reserved room that offers comfortable seats, catered food and drink, and a bird’s-eye view over all the action as the I-Cubs bat their way to glory.

Brent Conkel, a vice president at the Greater Des Moines Baseball Co.—the I-Cubs—said there are 45 skyboxes at Principal Park. Most of the boxes, which include both outdoor and indoor seats, are claimed by corporate customers on a lease of a year or more. Box rentals run around $21,000 per year. Hot dogs and beer are extra.

Some skyboxes are held back for nightly rentals. These typically are claimed by groups celebrating a birthday or family reunion, or maybe a business group that’s in town. The food and drink choices are the same, as is the seating, as the seasonal leases.

The I-Cubs are not alone in their skybox endeavor, as all area sporting teams likewise offer some sort of premium seating that they tailor to the field or auditorium where they play. The Des Moines Buccaneers hockey team plays in an arena in Urbandale that was built long before the advent of skyboxes. Yet they squeeze in two for their games.

The Iowa Wild hockey team also offers some suites, while the Iowa Menace soccer team has a sideline table for four for just $700. If it’s courtside seats you desire, both the Iowa Barnstormers arena football team and the Iowa Wolves basketball team have season tickets available that are directly on the sidelines. Both play at Wells Fargo Arena.

Working with bigger stadiums and crowds, the University of Iowa and Iowa State University have both made huge buildups to their premium seating. Iowa State, for instance, has outdoor seating in the Sukup End Zone, (3,000 seats), outdoors with some indoor rest areas in the Jack Trice Club (540 seats) and then 43 suites on the stadium’s west side that seat 16 to 32 people each. These suites require a multiple-year commitment and an annual financial obligation of $50,000-plus. If you want in on this, get in line—there’s a long wait. Ditto for offerings at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City.

But as you wait to buy your way into college football, just remember this: Go Cubs!
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Legacy Bridge

Upscale Store’s Closing Shows Downtown Challenges

Retailing is tough: Just ask the liquidators of Toy R Us. Or Max Stanco, whose Lord Midas upscale menswear shop at Sixth and Locust streets is soon to close.

Stanco opened the store in late 2015 to showcase made-in-Italy high fashion for men. Finely crafted shoes, coats, sweaters and leather goods were the order of the day, and store manager Alejandro Ledezma said sales perked along in part due to out-of-towners visiting the store while they were in Des Moines during the run-up to the 2016 caucuses.

When the visitors left, though, sales fell. Blame it on poor parking options downtown, or the upstairs-downstairs whiplash known as the skywalk. Perhaps the well-groomed of Des Moines were too attached to incumbent haberdashers.

Or, it could be that critical mass for downtown retailing remains out of reach.

"We wouldn’t be [closing] if we were at Jordan Creek," Ledezma said in an echo of location, location, location.

Whatever the reason, it shows retailing downtown remains a hard do. But Ledezma said Lord Midas gave Stanco the push to open his operations in Palm Beach, Florida, where he currently is based. And it now offers us the chance to pick up some quality threads at bargain prices. (I should only be so lucky that before my birthday my wife should see a stylish cashmere overcoat.)
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801 Chophouse

Survey: Investors remain ‘solidly optimistic’ despite volatility

Investor confidence remains at a 17-year high, according to first-quarter figures for the Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index released today. At +139, the index remains essentially unchanged from the past two quarters, but is up from +126 a year ago. The last time the index exceeded the current level was in September 2000, when it was at +147.

According to the survey results, investors remain solidly optimistic on three economic aspects: economic growth, stock market performance and unemployment. Sixty percent of investors say they are at least somewhat optimistic about the 12-month outlook for these economic aspects, and fewer than a quarter are at least somewhat pessimistic.

Investors are most positive about maintaining their household income over the next year and about reaching their five-year investing goals, with 71 percent at least somewhat optimistic about each.

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What My Kids Learned about Money from The Tooth Fairy and Some Really Big Pumpkins

Last weekend over breakfast, the second of my four sons called out the Tooth Fairy for what he perceived to be jaw-dropping incompetence. She had completely neglected to leave his older brother any money for his lost tooth. > FULL ARTICLE

dsmWealth's Picks on What You Need to Know

  • Which Iowa wealth advisers made Forbes best-in-state list? Four Greater Des Moines wealth advisers were named among 10 Iowa firms highlighted by Forbes as Best-In-State Wealth Advisors. The criteria, developed by Shook Research, is based on an algorithm of qualitative criteria, mostly gained through telephone and in-person due diligence interviews and quantitative data. Advisers who were considered have a minimum of seven years of experience; the algorithm weighs factors like revenue trends, assets under management, compliance records and industry experience. Portfolio performance is not a criteria due to varying client objectives and lack of audited data, according to Forbes. Neither Forbes nor Shook receive a fee in exchange for rankings.

  • We often hear of family foundations making generous donations. This time, however, one family wants their money back after pledging a $100 million gift to the University of Chicago. Read this case of giver’s remorse.

  • Peer under the hood of your mutual fund or portfolio of index investments. If you’re like most people, you’ll find that you own shares of at least a few companies that make you squeamish. Perhaps you no longer wish to make money when Equifax collects and sells your data, especially when it has proved that it can’t do so safely. Or perhaps you have soured on big banks that treat customers poorly. For those so inclined, the good news is this: There are more opportunities than ever to invest with a conscience.’s Ron Lieber explores why it’s so hard to invest with a social conscience in this article.


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