Saturday, August 20, 2011

So, is that Barclays naming rights deal really worth $400 million? This time the Times hedges

From today's New York Times Sports section, published online as Reports: New Meadowlands Soon to Be MetLife Stadium:
If MetLife’s contract averages as much as $20 million annually, it will equal what Citigroup is paying to have its name on Citi Field, the home of the Mets. The other sports facilities in the New York metropolitan area with corporate names are the Prudential Center, the home of the Devils; Barclays Center, the future home of the Nets; and Red Bull Arena, where the Red Bulls play.
The Times did not assert that the Barclays Center naming rights deal was also worth $20 million a year.

However, FoxBusiness did so, in Report: MetLife Lands Naming Rights Deal for Meadowlands, published 8/19/11:
In fact, the last large-scale deals in this area were a pair of 20-year, $400 million sponsorships signed by Citigroup in 2006 for the home of the New York Mets and by Barclays in early 2007 with the New Jersey Nets.
Times caution?

Why didn't the Times assert the Barclays deal was also worth $400 million, especially after the Public Editor (credulously) recently expressed satisfaction with the Metro desk's verification of the issue?

Maybe because today's story was written by Sports Business reporter Richard Sandomir, who, in a 1/6/10 article allowed the arena promoters to make their claim, but left it somewhat ambiguous:
The recession and the departure of the star architect Frank Gehry led to the renegotiation of some terms of the Barclays-Nets deal. According to a bond document, the arena naming rights were halved.

The Nets insist that they have given Barclays more for its sponsorship money and that the bank’s total annual payments, including fees for other rights, remain unchanged.

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