SBD/2/Facilities Venues

GOING TO CALIFORNIA: STAPLES INKS LARGEST NAMING RIGHTS DEAL

          MA-based Staples has agreed to pay $100M over 20 years
     for the naming rights to L.A.'s downtown arena complex
     scheduled to open in fall '99.  The facility will be named
     the Staples Center, and the company will also be awarded
     marketing, promotional and signage rights, community-based
     programs -- including the Staples Center Foundation which
     will raise $1M for inner-city kids -- and various amenities
     in Staples Center over the next 20 years (Staples).  DC-
     based ProServ, which was retained by the NHL Kings,
     negotiated the rights deal (ProServ).  The facility will
     seat 20,000 for basketball, 19,000 for hockey; includes 162
     suites and 2,500 club seats (L.A. TIMES, 12/2).
          REAX: In L.A., Randy Harvey notes the visibility of the
     arena, and writes that "one reason Staples paid so dearly
     for the naming rights is that the arena will be at the
     interchange of the 10 and 110 freeways" (L.A. TIMES, 12/2). 
     In N.Y., Stefan Fatsis writes that at $5M per year, the
     Staples Center naming rights deal "raises the bar even
     higher."  ISI President Frank Vuono: "It's a dynamic market
     and a dual-purpose facility" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/2). 
     Developers are also looking for "an additional 10-12 smaller
     founding sponsors that will result in arena signage" (Marc
     Pollack, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 12/2).
 
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