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Volume 24 No. 113


The MLS Dynamo have sold naming rights to BBVA Compass Bank for their new stadium in a deal valued at $20M over 10 years, according to a source tied to the negotiations. The international bank gets its name on the stadium plus branding opportunities inside the 22,000-seat facility, including the chairman’s club, a small private lounge reserved for company meetings. The bank also gets a suite and stadium-wide ATM exclusivity. The Dynamo, co-owned by AEG, and AEG Global Partnerships brokered the deal together; Dynamo Exec VP Steve Powell and AEG Global Partnership's Todd Goldstein and Nick Baker were the principals involved. BBVA Compass Bank, a Spanish company, has its Investment Solutions division based in Houston. The bank played a key role in financing stadium construction through the city’s tax increment reinvestment zone where taxes spurred by new development helps pay for those projects. In addition, at today’s press conference to officially announce the naming-rights deal, the Dynamo and the bank will unveil their “Building a Better Houston” initiative to encourage further development in the East End neighborhood of downtown Houston. BBVA Compass Stadium opens May 12 with AEG Facilities operating the building. Levy Restaurants will be the food provider pending a signed contract. Over the course of the season, the $80M facility will transition from Ticketmaster to Outbox, AEG’s new ticketing system (Don Muret, SportsBusiness Journal). Texas Southern will play its home football games at BBVA Compass Stadium, which “is otherwise going to be a soccer-specific site with occasional concerts and boxing matches promoted by Dynamo co-owner Oscar De La Hoya” (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 12/14).

Santa Clara leaders yesterday “enthusiastically endorsed the deal to fund and build a new 49ers stadium, leaving one final obstacle before pro football comes charging into the South Bay: a huge cash infusion from the NFL,” according to Mike Rosenberg of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. City Council members, acting “as the Santa Clara Stadium Authority, unanimously voted to tap $850 million in bank loans to begin construction within the next year, as dozens of supporters -- including business groups, unions and fans in 49ers jerseys -- wildly applauded.” Despite the “elation from the team, city officials and other supporters, the deal isn't done just yet: Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and U.S. Bank won't agree to the loan until the NFL commits to finance at least $150 million to pay for the rest of the $1 billion stadium.” The NFL owners are meeting today and “will receive a briefing on the 49ers stadium but no vote is scheduled.” But the 49ers “are confident that they will get the league funds then complete the loan deal by the end of April.” In “another sign of confidence, a newly released letter from the banks shows the 49ers are targeting a 2014 stadium opening -- a year earlier than planned -- and will try to break their lease at Candlestick Park after 2013” (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 12/14). In S.F., Stephanie Lee in a front-page piece notes that the construction loan is “expected to be repaid over the next 25 years from ticket sales, rent from the team and naming rights.” The city is “chipping in $114 million, as approved by voters in June 2010, and the National Football League is expected to contribute $150 million.” The team, which “would pay $30 million annually to use the stadium, has pledged to cover any construction cost overruns and loan costs if revenue falls short.” Santa Clara city officials said that “no general fund money will be spent” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 12/14).

ON THE TRADE MARKET? In S.F., C.W. Nevius wrote the city has “nearly lost the 49ers to Santa Clara, but there's talk it can build a basketball arena in Mission Bay.” A state-of-the-art arena for the Warriors “would be a huge asset,” and those putting the deal together “are predicting as many as 100 events a year.” That starts with 41 NBA regular-season home games, then “book a full slate of concerts and shows.” It could be “a spectacular venue built right on the bay, perhaps over the water on a pier.” MLB Giants fans have “already proved that public transportation works well there.” Nevius: “I'd make that trade in a second” (, 12/13).