Writing in The Nation, Dave Zirin and Jules Boykoff call attention to yet another problem with the problematic Portland Timbers soccer-only renovation plan for PGE Park:
PGE secured a decade’s worth of naming rights at a bargain-basement price of $8.5 million, but the deal expires after 2010.
If the naming-rights agreements signed recently by other MLS teams are any indication, Portland could get a lot more bang for its corporate buck.
In Toronto, the Bank of Montreal paid $24 million for a ten-year naming-rights deal. The Los Angeles Galaxy scored $70 million over ten years from Home Depot for soccer-stadium naming rights. Real Salt Lake signed a ten-year deal with Rio Tinto for approximately $20 million, while Dick’s Sporting Goods agreed to pay the Colorado Rapids $30 million over fifteen years for stadium naming rights.
If PGE were asked to fork over $19.7 million for the next decade of sponsorship–a figure in line with other MLS agreements–there would be no need to finagle the city for money.
Of course, that would mean Timbers owner Merritt Paulson giving up the naming-rights money — which the current stadium agreement would hand over to him, even though the city currently gets the money, and the stadium would continued to be owned by the city. See what I was saying about hidden costs?