As a change of pace, here’s some good news: The New Orleans Saints and the state of Louisiana have announced a ten-year naming rights deal with Mercedes-Benz for the Superdome. No word on how much the carmaker will be paying, but apparently the fact that the dome is set to host the 2013 Super Bowl made them willing to pay more than chump change for a building that 99% of people will still just call “the Superdome.”
And why should anyone other than Saints fans and luxury European car fans care about this? Because as part of the new lease signed along with the dome’s recent $336 million renovation, the Saints and the state split naming-rights proceeds (after the first $1 million a year goes to the team). And while Louisiana taxpayers won’t likely see any cash from the deal, they do get to use the naming-rights money to reduce the annual operating subsidies that the state has been paying the Saints to play in the dome for the last ten years.
So, rejoice! The Saints will soon only be playing rent-free, instead of paying negative rent! And all it cost was $336 million in state-sponsored renovations! C’mon, why aren’t you rejoicing?