I’ve been meaning to write about F.C. Dallas‘s plans to expand and add a partial roof to their stadium for a while now, but have held off because I’ve been trying to figure out how it would be paid for. And today we have a hint, with an article about the team’s naming-rights deal with Toyota:
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Hunt Sports Group vice president Dan Hunt assured the assembled VIPs and media that it would run “significantly into the future.” Hunt also said that the partnership with Toyota will help enable recently discussed stadium improvements such as a partial roof along with expanded suites and premium seating.
“It will obviously help with those things,” he said. “As we continue to grow, I know that the city is committed to helping improve this facility, so it’s all coming together.”
Okay, that doesn’t really explain anything, other than that 1) the team will be getting an unknown amount for naming rights, and 2) the city of Frisco may kick in some money as well. This is yet another case where it’d be nice if local reporters took the time to ask more about finances, but I guess there’s no time when there’s important alternate-jersey news to be reported.
Maybe it’s just end-of-year contract cancellation time, but this week has seen a relative whirlwind of naming-rights reversals: A national pizza chain announced it was taking its name off of FC Dallas‘ soccer stadium, while the Indiana Pacers‘ arena got a new name thanks to a corporate renaming, the Miami Dolphins‘ stadium is getting one thanks to its namesake company closing up shop in the U.S., and the Sacramento Kings‘ arena could get one depending on how its sponsor’s bankruptcy proceedings go.
All of which is pretty much old hat in the sports world by now — this will be the eighth name for the Miami stadium in 25 years — but it does make you wonder how much brand value a stadium name when nobody can remember what it’s called. (Quick, anyone: Where do the Oakland Raiders play?) So far, companies still seem willing to throw their name onto any building that might get it on the lips of national sportscasters — just look at the San Diego Chargers‘ stadium, which got a new name that will last only from last Sunday through next Wednesday in order to promote its usual sponsor’s new cellphone chip at three major football games. But how long will it last, especially if announcers stop making as many references to stadium names-of-the-week.
It’s possible to imagine, even, a world where entire articles could be written about stadiums without ever bothering to mention who has paid to advertise on their sides. But no, that could never happen.