COMERICA ALL YE FAITHFUL: TIGERS INK NAMING RIGHTS DEAL
MI-based bank Comerica "has purchased the right" to
name the Tigers' new stadium in a $66M deal that will be
paid to the ballclub over 30 years, according to Patricia
Montemurri of the DETROIT FREE PRESS. The deal will give
Comerica, which will pay the Tigers an initial installment
of $1M in '99, "exposure to a national and statewide market
with every game's broadcast," while the Tigers get "a steady
cash infusion to cope with escalating salaries" and a $285M
price for the new stadium. Tigers Owner Mike Ilitch had
initially "insisted" that the stadium would be called Tiger
Ballpark, but "was forced" to change his mind, saying,
"That's the way things are going today in the industry."
Ilitch said his Little Caesars chain did not purchase naming
rights because "he worried about overexposing the pizza
franchise." Ilitch: "I thought about that, but the bank had
a little more money than I did" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 12/22).
STUFFED CRUST ARENA? In Detroit, Becky Yerak reports
that Pizza Hut and Toyota "are reportedly among the
companies that have inquired about buying the naming rights
to The Palace of Auburn Hills," which "expects" to sign a
20-year deal for around $70M (DETROIT NEWS, 12/22).