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October 04, 2011
Mercedes Superdome deal to end yearly Saints subsidies?
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?
Good for the Superdome, Saints and Louisiana... waste of time for Mercedes. Renaming venues that have long time names has to be the most futile gesture in the stadium world. You know, no one, will use it. Hell I was watching the Raiders v Patriots game from Oakland on Sunday and even the announcers have reverted to just calling the stadium THE Coliseum after it's most recent name change to O.co Coliseum.
Dan is so right. I live in the East Bay and we've never called it anything but "The Coliseum" And the adjoining arena has always been "The Arena" or "The Coliseum Arena". What a waste of money for Oracle (I think) and O.co
Overstock.com, yes, everyone calls it the coliseum. I call it the oakland coliseum, since when I hear the coliseum I think of the LA coliseum. The Oracle Arena, though, is a legitimate name. Calling something "the Arena" seems really silly to me, and I hear most bay area people using the oracle name. It helps that it doesn't have the extra syllables that should never be in a real life place name (dot com or dot coe) I'm not sure which category the Mercedes Superdome falls into.
Honestly, this is an incredibly good deal for Mercedes. They get signage all over the building for 10 years that includes Saints Football, Sugar Bowl and New Orleans Bowl including the Super Bowl in 2013.
The P.R. they get from this is extremely good for them. They put their money in to technically (As I spin this.) end a subsidy for the City of New Orleans which is saving tax-payer dollars being funded into the Saints having to play in Louisiana.
So at the end of the day, it was a smart decision by Mercedes. Though I do agree 100% that people will still call it the Superdome because Mercedes went with Superdome in the name. Which could be another P.R. ploy but not naming it Mercedes-Benz Field which overtime would be supplanted into locals head.
I think the deal is good for them from a marketing and advertising including public relations stand-point.
I'm visualizing the world's largest hood ornament.
Seriously, who cares what company buys any stadium? Do you really think anyone is going to fly American Airlines just because they have a couple of basketball arena's? Nope. Are you going to call Invesco and change your pension account because they have their name on a football field? You're crazy if you do. Reliant paid 300 million for the stadium in Htown. Now tell me... really... who wouldn't switch to X brand if they could save a quarter on their next light bill? Mercedes gets its name posted in the Superdome and associated with a few big games over the next 10 years...wooHOO!! Think of the national advertising they could have bought on a pay as you go basis and banked the rest at interest for future use. It's insanity.... but then.... isn't Mercedes the same company that bought Chrysler a few years back and had to dump it shortly at a huge loss? Haha... now its starting to make more sense.