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GM is one of six major corporations that are bidding to have the Raptor's new arena named after their company. GM has already affixed its identity to the new home of the Vancouver Grizzlies and Canucks, GM Place, which is under construction. A source close to GM said that a deal should be "tied up" by the end of November: "I know we're first in line." The source added that they were "not sure" whether an agreement would include exclusivity and/or floor signage." An agreement on the naming rights is expected to cost tens of millions. A former arena exec pegged the value of such a contract at more than $1M per year, with "significant" payment up front. It is believed the arena agreement with Northwest, the Grizzlies' parent company, is worth more than $20M (Craig Daniels, TORONTO SUN, 10/27).
St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission (CVC) President Bob Bedell said that the commission will wait for a decision by the Rams about moving to St. Louis before they award a corporation with naming rights to the new dome. It is currently unknown which party would receive any stadium naming rights money -- CVC, FANS Inc. or the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority, which owns and is constructing the building. Bedell argues that any future naming rights revenues should help meet the CVC's operating expenses: "CVC has more at stake financially than anybody else." But FANS -- the non-profit group attempting to lure the Rams to St. Louis -- maintains they need the money to meet the Rams' wish list items of between $60-90M (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/27).
Earlier this week, Jerry Jones outlined his expansion plans for Texas Stadium in Irving. His plan would expand seating capacity to over 100,000, the most in the NFL, and cost approximately $140M, close to what Jones paid for the team and the stadium in 1989. Jones enjoys one of the most favorable lease situations in the league, and Texas Stadium's 358 luxury boxes are tops in the NFL with the Stadium Corp. owning and operating all the boxes. Today, THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY continues to profile the NFL's infrastructure with a look at Texas Stadium.
STADIUM:Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas AGE: Completed in 1971 CAPACITY: 65,000, 21st highest in the league. OWNERSHIP: City of Irving MANAGEMENT: Managed by the Texas Stadium Corp. LUXURY BOXES: 358 boxes -- most in the NFL -- owned and operatedby the Texas Stadium Corporation. COST: $35 million, paid for by public bonds RENOVATIONS: Two recent renovations -- 118 more suites in '85, 60 suites added in '92. CONCESSIONS: Concessions done in-house by Texas Stadium Corp., revenue goes to Stadium Corp. PARKING: 16,000 parking sports at $6 a car. All revenue goes to Stadium Corp. RENT: $1.95 million -- 7th highest in the league. LEASE: Jones owns the team and manages the lease outright.