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Volume 25 No. 26
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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).