In an effort to try and keep the Bucs from leaving, the
Tampa Sports Authority (TSA) yesterday approved a stadium
agreement turning over the naming rights for Tampa Stadium to the
team. According to TSA Chair Chuck Davis, if Bucs Owner Malcolm
Glazer is able "to find a taker, the money is his." Aside from
the naming rights, there are also "other changes" in the
agreement which "still need approval" from the Hillsborough
County Commission and Tampa City Council. Among the changes:
the Bucs and TSA "will stop sharing" money made from parking and
concessions when attendance goes above 52,500; team payments to
TSA will fall by $150,000 a year; beginning next season, leasing
luxury boxes will cost the team $200,000 annually instead of
$300,000; and the team won't have to pay $50,000 for advertising
at the stadium. The new agreement "could bring the Bucs as much
as $1.85 million more a year," and that they would return to the
original arrangement "once the Bucs get a new or renovated
stadium" (Jim Kenyon, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 3/21).
OTHER NAMING RIGHTS NEWS: Diamondbacks Owner Jerry
Colangelo said the ballpark to be built in downtown Phoenix will
be named on April 4 or 5 (USA TODAY, 3/21). Bank One has been
mentioned as most likely to purchase naming rights.
"Surprising several task force members," Regional Stadium
Task Force Co-Chair Guy Guckenberger said yesterday that he
"expects Cincinnati, Hamilton County and Boone, Campbell and
Kenton counties in Kentucky to bear most of the cost for building
or remodeling" stadiums for the Reds and Bengals. In doing this,
several counties in Ohio would be left "out of the picture."
Guckenberger: "I think there's a feeling that the closer you are
to a downtown stadium, the more direct and greater the benefit
and the more you contribute." KY state Sen. Joe Meyer, however,
believes "it's not fair that some Southwest Ohio counties could
be excluded but all of Nothern Kentucky would be asked to pay."
Leaders of the task force "plan to pursue an 'interstate compact'
that would unite metropolitan Cincinnati counties into one
entity" (Richard Green, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 3/21).