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Values of venue naming rights can vary widely

Posted: Feb. 25, 2008
SportsDay



Bob Wolfley
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The total amount and the number of years that companies get in naming-rights agreements vary significantly, according to a list of such agreements compiled by Sports Business Daily.

Last week, it was reported that Bradley Center officials were looking for a naming rights deal for the facility.

The Sports Business Daily list is a bit dated because it does not include the deal Citigroup has made to own the naming rights to the New York Mets' new park, Citi Field, for an estimated $20 million a year, which would make it tops in the country.

Citi Field is set to open in 2009.

However, the list does give you a sense of how these kinds of packages come wrapped.

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The trade publication ranks 74 sports facilities in the United States and Canada in terms of total payout in each deal. The average annual value is included as well.

On top is Reliant Energy Inc., which bought the naming rights to Reliant Park in Houston, including Reliant Astrodome, Reliant Arena and Reliant Stadium. The deal is to cost Reliant $300 million over 30 years for an average of $10 million a year. It expires in 2033.

Next is FedEx Corp., which is to pay $205 million over 27 years ($7.59 million annually) for FedEx Field in Landover, Md., the home of the Washington Redskins.

American Airlines is to pay $195 million over 30 years ($6.5 million annually) for the American Airlines Center in Dallas, home of the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars. Royal Philips Electronics is to pay $185 million over 20 years ($9.25 million annually) for Philips Arena in Atlanta, home of the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Thrashers.

Rounding out the top five is Minute Maid Co., which agreed to pay $170 million over 28 years ($6.07 million annually) for Minute Maid Park in Houston, home of the Houston Astros.

Sources told the Journal Sentinel that Bradley Center officials could be expected to be looking for $20 million over 10 years, or $2 million annually.

Of the 71 deals listing a total payout and number of years, 30 of them were for $2 million or less annually. A total of 28 of the deals were for 20 years.

Examples of other naming-rights deals right on the $2 million annual mark are: Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis (Conseco Inc.), PNC Park in Pittsburgh (PNC Financial Services Group), Safeco Field in Seattle (Safeco Corp.), FleetCenter in Boston (Bank of America Corp.) and Pro Player Stadium in Miami (Fruit of the Loom).

The $41.2 million Miller Brewing Co. is to pay for Miller Park naming rights until 2020 ($2.06 million annually) ranks 37th on the list.

Wet race still draws

A NASCAR race delayed because of water on the course, the Auto Club 500 in Fontana, Calif., drew the biggest local TV audience for a sports event last weekend.

From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday, the auto race averaged more than 81,000 households on WITI-TV (Channel 6).

Wisconsin's victory over Ohio State in men's basketball Sunday afternoon on WDJT-TV (Channel 58) was next, with nearly 60,000 households.

The Saturday round of the Accenture Match Play Championship on WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) had more than 45,000 households. (The final round on Sunday had 34,000 households.)

The men's college basketball game Saturday night on ESPN between the top two ranked teams in the nation, Tennessee at Memphis, was seen in almost 42,000 local households.

International calling

The commissioner of the National Football League, Roger Goodell, said in a television interview aired Monday night that Paris or London "could support an NFL team."

Goodell made his remarks on CNBC's "Conversations with Michael Eisner."

Goodell said an NFL team in Europe "is down the road, but we want to work toward it."

Meanwhile, it was reported that Goodell was paid $6.5 million for the first seven months of his tenure as commissioner. Prorated over 12 months, his salary works out to $11.2 million.

Call SportsDay at (414) 223-5531 or send e-mail to bwolfley@journalsentinel.com


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From the Feb. 26, 2008 editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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