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JERSEY OFFICIALS ACCELERATE NAMING RIGHTS SALE OF BYRNE
Published August 9, 1995
The Chair of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority hopes to sell the naming rights to the Byrne Arena in the Meadowlands before hosting the NCAA Final Four college basketball tournament this spring, according to Stephen Hirsch of the Bergen RECORD. Michael Francis said "at least three" companies either based in New Jersey or with strong ties to the area have expressed an interest in the naming rights. The authority "hopes to reap $2 million to $4 million per year and is seeking a deal in the neighborhood of ten years." Hirsch writes the authority "needs to complete a deal soon or risk not having the new name on the arena by March." Francis: "To have this in place by the Final Four is of extreme value to the advertiser." Among companies rumored to be interested include AT&T Corp. and Bell Atlantic Corp. and PNC Bank Corp. of Pittsburgh. Houston-based Continental Airlines, "which has a hub in Newark ... is considered a key target" (Stephen Hirsch, Bergen RECORD, 8/9). NEWS ON DEVILS DEAL: Hirsch also reports that "three financial institutions have submitted proposals to refinance approximately" $25M in debt incurred by the Devils. NJSEA Chair Michael Francis said the debt refinancing was "the only sticking point" to the tentative deal announced between the Devils and the NJSEA last month (Bergen RECORD, 8/9). is profiled by Fitzgerald & Hirsch in the RECORD. The "buzz in political circles had been that [NJSEA President and CEO Robert Mulcahy] ... will be shoved out the door when his contract expires next May so that Governor [Christine Todd] Whitman can put her own stamp on the authority," according to Fitzgerald & Hirsch in the RECORD. But, with Mulcahy's recent "performance" with the negotiations with the Devils, there are "rumblings that he might hang on yet again." A high-ranking administration official said Mulcahy's "stock has risen because of the apparently successful outcome of the negotiations" with the Devils (Bergen RECORD, 8/6).