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AY down the memory hole: Barclays still said to pay $400 million for arena naming rights

From Bloomberg, 1/10/18, Oracle Pays More Than $200 Million to Rename San Francisco Giants’ Stadium:
The pact is the latest in a wave of blockbuster branding deals for professional sports facilities. JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to pay $15 million to $20 million annually over 20 years for the rights to the new Chase Center in San Francisco, where the Golden State Warriors will play once it opens for the 2019-2020 basketball season. Barclays Plc agreed to pay $400 million over 20 years for the name to the Brooklyn Nets arena in New York City.
Wait a sec.

That last sentence links to a poorly sourced 1/19/07 New York Times column, headlined What's in a Name? $400 Million, which stated:
But the Nets aren’t laughable anymore, and yesterday, their principal owner, Bruce C. Ratner; some of his investors, like the rapper Jay-Z; and a few of their players were at the Brooklyn Museum to announce that Barclays will pay a record $400 million over 20 years to put its name on the team’s new arena.
I was there. No one actually said that. A better-sourced article, from the Wall Street Journal, stated:
Under the 20-year agreement, Barclays said it will pay about $300 million...
Then came renegotiations, given the recession and the switch to a smaller arena, designed by Ellerbe Becket (and SHoP) instead of Frank Gehry.

So when the arena bonds were marketed in December 2009, there was ample evidence, as I wrote, that the deal had been downgraded to $10 million a year, as noted in the graphic at right.

The figure persists

But the $400 million figure persisted, despite my attempt to get the Times to correct it.

Here's my exchange with the Times's Public Editor (actually his assistant), who resisted any correction to the more accurate figure of $200 million-plus, posted 8/3/11.

(A lot of people miss the Public Editor position, which has been eliminated, and I share some of that sentiment. A Public Editor can be helpful for the general discourse. But my exchanges with various Public Editors, and their assistants, were uniformly unproductive.)

The number changes

Finally came the authoritative Sports Business Journal's confirmation that the naming rights deal has been renegotiated to $200 million, posted 9/19/11. See graphic below.

Later, the New York Times Sports section--the same columnist, actually--published an example of rowback (correcting misinformation without acknowledging a correction) on 7/4/12:
The $200 million that Barclays is paying over 20 years for the arena’s naming rights would have been hard for any team to turn down.
The team didn't sell the naming rights. The arena developer did.

But the lesson here, I guess, is check the full clip file. And maybe don't trust the Times as authoritative. 

Sports Business Journal, 9/19/11

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