SBD/Issue 73/Facilities & VenuesPrint All
BofA Signs Deal To Get Out
Of FleetCenter Naming-Rights Deal
Bank of America and Delaware North Cos. have reached an agreement on the naming-rights deal for the FleetCenter. The FleetCenter name and logo, including all interior and exterior signage, will remain in place until Delaware North signs a new naming-rights partner or through October 14, 2005, whichever comes first. Financial terms were not disclosed (Delaware North). In Boston, Sasha Talcott reports the cost for BofA to get out of the final six years of FleetBoston Financial Corp.’s $15-year, $30M naming-rights deal is “likely in the range of [$2-3M].” Arena execs indicated that they are “receiving phone calls from about a dozen interested companies,” though they declined to reveal names. FleetCenter President & CEO Richard Krezwick said that “half his inquiries have been from national companies,” and added that both national and local companies “have expressed ‘varying degrees of interest.’” Former FleetCenter President Larry Moulter, now a sports marketing consultant, said that the arena will have two potential problems in inking a new sponsor: the “diminishing number of big companies headquartered in the region, and the fact that naming-rights deals may be less popular than they were in the mid-1990s.” But Moulter added that the arena “should have no trouble finding a sponsor because the building already has established itself as a major sports and entertainment hub” (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/5).
Indiana state Rep. Luke Messer Tuesday announced his own financial plan to help keep the Colts in Indianapolis by “adding 5,000 slot machines all at the state's two horse tracks, but none Downtown,” according to Michele McNeil of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. The legislation would add 2,500 slots each at Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs, with $30M in “annual gambling proceeds for the city and even more for the state.” The proposal would give Indianapolis a “cut of the money, but one that falls $16[M] a year short” of Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson's request for $46M per year to finance a new $500M retractable-roof stadium. Messer, who indicated that he is “open to a casino in Indianapolis,” said his plan “limits the expansion of gambling. But my bill won't be the last version. In the end, it will likely look much different.” Messer: “We're hopeful this is a good start towards getting the Colts the funding they need” (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 1/5).
Injured Hockey Fan’s Lawsuit
Against MSG To Move Forward
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Saralee Evans has refused to dismiss an $11M suit against MSG by Gyongyi Tokolyi, who was hit in the face by a puck during a Rangers game in ’02, according to Helen Peterson of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. Tokolyi, who was sitting in the seventh row, broke her nose in three places, fractured facial bones under her eye and got a cut on her face that required 15 stitches. Lawyers for MSG argued that it cannot be held responsible for protecting fans, “especially since appellate courts have thrown out similar lawsuits filed in the past.” But Evans “deemed the Tokolyi case different because the victim was sitting behind a protective barrier and had not left her seat behind the goal” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/5). While Evans allowed the suit to go forward against MSG, she “tossed out the claims against the NHL and Rangers” (N.Y. POST, 1/5).
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court refused to consider an appeal of the state Horse Racing Commission’s September ’02 decision awarding a thoroughbred track license to Chester, West Virginia-based MTR Gaming, effectively removing “the last legal obstacle to construction of a new” racetrack in Erie, a $100M project that “eventually will include a slot machine casino along Interstate 90,” according to Tom Barnes of PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE. MTR CEO Edson “Ted” Arneault said that he hopes to begin construction in April or May on the track, which will be called Presque Isle Downs. Developer Charles Betters, who filed the appeal, said he was “disappointed” the Supreme Court will not hear his case. Betters, who had been attempting to get a racing license in order to build a track and casino in Pittsburgh, “has two other lawsuits pending” – one in Commonwealth Court and one in federal court – “aimed at overturning the new Pennsylvania slots law” (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 1/4).