09 August 2009

Verizon Coliseum?

Matier and Ross report that telecom giant Verizon may be in talks with the Coliseum Authority to do a short term naming rights deal at the stadium. It would be a "five-year, multimillion-dollar deal." Yes, we had just gotten used to one season as the rightfully named Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, but the City of Oakland and Alameda County both need the cash badly, so I'm not against it one bit.

Color me surprised that a deal is being done, considering the states of the tenant franchises. It is a short deal which may point to positive talks between the Authority and the Raiders, whose lease ends after the 2010 season.

Ready for yet another corporate name that won't stick? As fans, we complain about abrupt name changes and the concept of naming rights in general. However, the corporate entities don't really care that much about whether or not we use the names. They care about media exposure, and that's what naming rights provide. It'll be interesting to see what Verizon does strategically. It already has a major high profile venue in Verizon Center arena in DC, plus a strong regional presence in the Northeast with Verizon Wireless Arena, a smaller venue in New Hampshire.

It's not a bad idea as Verizon may want to counter AT&T, which was rumored as the naming rights partner for the new Cowboys Stadium before the economy went into the tank. Verizon's only major presence in the Bay Area is as a wireless carrier, as AT&T is the predominant carrier for land-based services. Verizon may also work in an early termination clause (as McAfee did), which they could employ if one or more of the Coliseum tenants leave before the end of the deal.


Anonymous said...

Yeah I don't have a problem with this either. If it helps the city.

notsellingjeans said...

ML, did you find it significant that it was exactly five years in length, or is that figure somewhat arbitrary?

I ask because a five-year naming rights lease takes us through the 2014 season. I had hoped for the A's to be in a new stadium by year, and I'm wondering if this implies that 2015 is a more realistic target.

What do you think?

(Thanks for all your great work; I've learned a lot about construction, politics, law, and Bay Area real estate by virtue of this blog. I'm grateful for it).

Anonymous said...

My thoughts are exactly the same as notselling. My subquestion for ML is do you think the Verizon deal that is to last 5 years is more significant to the Raiders and their staduim upgrade quest?

Marine Layer said...

There isn't any linkage between the A's and this deal. The A's are in through 2013 at the latest in the current deal, and it's likely they'll exhaust all of their options (lease years and other locations) before exploring any kind of extension. Unless the MLB panel compels them, the A's don't have to communicate with Oakland/Alameda County except to report on the state of the facility and pay rent.

Marine Layer said...

8:08 - It might be significant on the Raiders front, but that's a reach. Verizon would be encouraged if the Raiders had an extension on the table, but again, they probably have an escape if there is no extension. The A's situation is static.

Jeffrey said...

I wonder if Verizon is willing to buy some serious charter seats for a new Oakland stadium/remodeled coliseum?

Pure speculation on my part.

Phone wars.... AT&T Park vs. The Black Hole brought to you buy Verizon.

It'd be nice to hear some "news."

Anonymous said...

Wow. If any company is willing to put their name on that rotting hulk of concrete, the city and county should take it running to the bank. It's long past the point where anyone should care what it's called.

Charley Finley said...

Whar does "a multi-million dollar deal" mean? It could be as little as $250K/year for 5 years.