Kansas City’s NBC affiliate is reporting that the Royals are on the cusp of a deal to sell naming rights to Kauffman Stadium, their 38-year-old ballpark that currently bears the name of the team’s founding owner. According to the report, the deal is with a bank that will pay between $3 million and $6 million a year for the next 21 years to have its name on the building, just in time to get its name in the papers during next year’s All-Star Game, which will be held in K.C.
The report also notes:
Sources say according to the lease, half of the money will go to the Royals, half will go back to the Jackson County taxpayers to pay for stadium maintenance.
That’s good news compared to most cities, where teams demand 100% of all naming-rights money as part of their stadium deals. Though given that the stadium is owned by Jackson County, and local taxpayers just spent a couple hundred million dollars to renovate the place in 2006, it’s hard to see why the Royals should be getting any money at all — especially when the public’s half of the naming rights boodle won’t come close to paying off the $8.5 million in operations costs taxpayers are on the hook for under the 2006 lease revisions.
But, hey, at least it’s something. And this way maybe the windfall will let the Royals afford to sign … um, one-third of Paul Maholm?