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CONTINENTAL AIRLINES SIGNS ARENA DEAL WITH NJSEA
Published January 5, 1996
Continental Airlines and NJSEA announced yesterday that the Meadowlands' Brendan Byrne Arena will now be known as Continental Airlines Arena. The Continental logo will be placed on the roof, and, in addition to extensive on-site signage, the partnership will create significant marketing and promotional opportunities. All employees of Continental Airlines will be eligible for ticket discounts for events at the arena and a Continental Airlines ticket office will be located on the box office level of the arena (Continental). MORE ON THE DEAL: Continental will pay $29M for the naming rights which will last through 2007, according to the N.Y. TIMES. Continental will pay $750,000 this year, $1.5M next year, $2.25M in '98 and $1.5M per season from '99 to 2007. The airline will also provide NJSEA with $700,000 worth of travel, which can be used for the Devils and Nets, but also can be resold at 80% of face value. Continental can cancel the deal with two years' notice starting in 2000. NJSEA Chair Michael Francis said the deal was "based solely on economics" as the arena just finished negotiations leading to a new lease with the Devils. The Devils will get 30% of Continental's payments while the Nets' share has yet to be determined (Richard Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 1/5). OTHER POINTS: In Houston, another Continental hub, Charles Boisseau notes the deal does not prevent the airline from vying to obtain naming rights for a sports facility in Houston. Houston Mayor Bob Lanier and Rockets Owner Leslie Alexander are currently in discussions about building a new arena downtown (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 1/5). In Newark, Kevin Coughlin writes arena sponsorships can backfire if local media refuse to carry the corporate name in coverage, noting Star-Ledger reporters in the past have called the arena the Meadowlands Arena (Newark STAR- LEDGER, 1/5). CASE IN POINT: In today's S.F. CHRONICLE, Ira Miller's story on the turf at 3Com Park still refers to the facility as Candlestick Park (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/5). CARE FOR A BEVERAGE? Jay Leno: "In honor of the name change, the seats will be made smaller, leg room will be reduced, and the games will start fifteen to twenty minutes late all the time now" ("Tonight Show," NBC, 1/4).