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Nats Preparing to put Naming Rights Up for Bid PDF Print E-mail
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Written by The Staff   
Tuesday, 28 November 2006 04:32

New Nationals BallparkWith the opening of the new Nationals ballpark along the Anacostia River slated to open in April of 2008, the Nationals are preparing to accept bids for the naming rights to the stadium.

It appears the Nationals will hire the Wasserman Media Group to accept bids, which could range from $4 million to $10 million annually. Note that the Mets and Athletics have recently come into agreements for naming rights for their new ballparks, with CitiGroup agreeing to $20 million a year for 20 years for the new Mets ballpark (making it the most lucrative naming rights deal ever), it is possible that the Nationals naming deal would be at the higher end of the spectrum.

As the Washington Post reports:

One industry source, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the sale, said the family of Theodore Lerner, which owns the Nationals, is hoping the naming rights will earn $10 million to $15 million per year. The source estimated the rights probably will sell for $5 million to $10 million. Others said these numbers were too high.

"My guess is this Nationals deal will fetch between $4 and $6 million a year, based on other recent deals," said Jeffrey Grill, a Washington attorney who has negotiated several sports naming rights deals. "No one should expect a deal anywhere near what the Mets got. But Washington is interesting because the stadium is going to be the cornerstone of a new revitalization area, it's an affluent area and there's clearly a demand for baseball here that was underestimated by most people, including Major League Baseball."

If the contract for conducting the auction goes to Wasserman Media, as expected, the sale likely will be engineered by WMG Marketing President Jeff Knapple, one of the top sports naming rights marketers in the country. Knapple will lead the naming rights process for the new stadium being built for the New York Jets and New York Giants. A spokesman for Wasserman declined to comment. 

 
 
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