Chicago-arena renting families $425 suites for graduations

GETTY Graduation stock photo

A suburban-Chicago arena is charging $425 for relatives of high school graduates to watch commencements from a private suite instead of general admission seats.

It's the first time Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates is offering the perk. The fee covers a 15-seat private suite and a 12-pack of bottled water. The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports the market for the suites is families wanting to avoid stress of reserving a large number of seats on the arena's lower level.

The arena will host 18 graduations this spring, including for students from high schools in suburbs like Palatine, Schaumburg, Algonquin and Mundelein. However not all schools are offering the suites. Officials at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire say they want families to have similar experiences at graduation. Spokesman Jim Conrey says it's "an equity issue."