TIGERS OWNER MULLS NAMING RIGHTS DEAL, AGAINST HIS WISHES
Tigers Owner Mike Ilitch "wants to call the team's new
ballpark either The Tiger Ballpark or Tiger Stadium," but he
"might not get his wish," according to John Lowe of the
DETROIT FREE PRESS. Yesterday, for the first time, Ilitch
said he might sell the naming rights to the ballpark, saying
such a move "might be the price" for having a "state-of-the-
art" stadium. Lowe writes that with Ford already acquiring
naming rights to the Lions' stadium, Detroit-based GM and
Chrysler are the "most obvious candidates" for the Tigers.
The "feeling in the Tigers organization" is that it can get
"at least" $40M for the naming rights. Ilitch "downplayed
recent indications" that he and "several" banks can't agree
on collateral for a $145M loan for the ballpark, and said
that he's "ready to invest an extra" $20M in the facility.
He added that he "doesn't know if he can get more" financing
from the banks, which may lead to the naming rights sale.
Ilitch said he could resist selling naming rights if the
team is "within budget" on the park (FREE PRESS, 3/10).