Cowboys Stadium is getting renamed AT&T Stadium, in a long-awaited naming rights deal for the Dallas Cowboys stadium opened in 2009. AT&T will pay … well, no one really knows exactly how much, though the Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes that AT&T was already paying $6-12 million as an “anchor sponsor” (read: have ads all over the place) at the stadium, and so is likely tacking on about another $6 million to actually put its name on the building.
Forbes says this adds about $100 million to the value of the Cowboys franchise, which is about right for the present value of an extra $6 million worth of annual revenue. (Unlike ticket sales, naming-rights money doesn’t have to be shared with the NFL.) That should let Cowboys owner Jerry Jones inch up the billionaires’ list. The city of Arlington, meanwhile, which actually owns the stadium, is expected to get a $500,000 annual cut, based on the Cowboys’ lease that gives the city 5% or half a million a year, whichever is less. Which is more than many cities get from naming rights — for some reason, sports team owners have been able to establish that it’s standard practice for tenants to own the names of the buildings they rent — but still not likely to do much to help pay off Arlington’s $25 million a year in stadium construction debt. Not to worry, though — there are plenty of local folks paying sales tax who can keep on making up the difference.