What’s In A Name? Perhaps It’s Almost A New Stadium

Ted Turner was robbed.

OK, we all know about AOL buying Time Warner with junk stock, but his name on the stadium?  He should have been paid.

Take a look at this slideshow and I think you’ll start to understand what sources of private money those putting together the Cobb Braves Stadium deal are looking at.  It’s the current top 10 stadium naming rights deals currently active.

Now look there at number one.  It’s the only baseball stadium on the list, but it’s for the New York Mets.  The Mets?  That’s right. $20 Million per year for 20 years to put Citi’s name on the Mets’ stadium.

But that’s New York you say. Can we get that kind of money in Atlanta?  Well, scroll on down to number 6.  It’s for Phillips Arena.  The lowly Hawks (and former Winnipeg Thrashers) were strong enough to get $9.25 Million per year for 20 years.  I don’t recall anyone ever referring to the Hawks as “America’s team”.  I would argue that the Braves have both a better Brand ID, as well as a more favorable climate to negotiate naming rights than when the Atlanta Spirit negotiated that deal.

Now I’ll refer you back to this post from a bit earlier today, where down in the comments we broke down the debt service needed to pay off bonds if all $450 Million as rumored must be bonded.  It’s between roughly $20 and $29 Million per year (30 vs 20 year debt service).  Now take $15M to $20M off that for naming rights and…it looks like there’s a structure where taxpayers may not exactly be on the hook for much if anything.

Hypothetical? Absolutely.  But so are a lot of the usual histrionics going on.  Cobb Chairman Tim Lee says we’ll see numbers and other details by Friday.  There will be a lot to criticize and scrutinize once we have them.  I can wait until then before feeling compelled to do so.

15 comments

  1. Mrs. Adam Kornstein says:

    I”m calling it for the lobbying organizations that propose The Lester Maddox Memorial BallPark.

    The Cobb chapter of the John Birch society will raise the coin for the naming rights.

  2. I’ll mostly reserve judgment as well, but they can rename Turner Field, too. Every other team in America that sold naming rights did it without Cobb County’s assistance. Wouldn’t the expected value of naming rights be accrued to the Braves and possibly already included in their $200m? We’ll have to wait and see, I guess.

  3. Jon Richards says:

    This is deja vu all over again. You may remember when the Gwinnett BOC announced the deal with the Braves to build Gwinnett Stadium, the county was hoping to net $500,000 per year, with another $350K going to the Braves. As it turned out, the naming rights market was a little slower than anticipated, and when Coolray signed up in 2010, they ended up paying $281,250 per year for a 16 year term. And all of that goes to the Braves, not the county.

    I admit the A-Braves (or is that now C-Braves) are bigger than the G-Braves, but one should not count chickens before they are hatched.

  4. saltycracker says:

    Thanks for some good reporting Charlie.

    So we have the Braves organization looking at options due to dropping attendance in spite of good performances and a dissatisfaction with the promises to improve the neighborhood.

    The business is exploring the idea that maybe they need to be closer and more attractive to their customers.

    The Cobb Coliseum authority, granted hotel tax levels by its citizens, steps up explore opportunities.

    As posted by C:
    “In short, we still have more questions than answers on how Cobb County taxpayers will be affected. Only when we have these answers can we attempt any sort of credible Cost/Benefit analysis and discussion.”

    Other options are there, like naming, and while the Braves and Cobb work thru them, the public hysterics are for entertainment/emotional influence purposes only.

    Can the elected keep a cool head and avoid the extremes of a lost opportunity or a taxpayers nightmare ?

  5. westsider555 says:

    The inconvenient truth is that all those stadiums are in cities that are centuries ahead of Cobb County/Marietta. Citi Field is in the New York City metro area. Cobb County is no Queens. The hawks get $9mm, what makes you think the Braves are going to get anything more than that for a stadium that has been fraught with controversy since it’s announcement?

    That money is coming (if at all) straight out of the Republican voter base cookie jar, and the hypocrisy over deciding to fork over fat corporate welfare check instead of funding schools and transit (that could’ve taken people to the Ted!) is not loss on anybody.

    Get a grip.

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