Triple-A PCL Oklahoma City RedHawks, Chickasaw Nation Revise Naming-Rights Deal
The Triple-A PCL Oklahoma City RedHawks and the Chickasaw Nation on Thursday revised a previously-announced naming-rights deal for ballpark. The venue will now be called Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (RedHawks). In Oklahoma City, Michael Kimball in a front-page piece notes that under the original deal, the venue would have been called Newcastle Field at Bricktown, and some signage at the ballpark would have "prominently featured the logo of Newcastle Casino." The move was "met with strong and near-unanimous criticism from city leaders who voiced an opinion on the name." Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and other city leaders had "expressed dismay that the name of a casino and Oklahoma City suburb would be displayed on a city-owned building." But the city "sold naming rights to the team" in '98 and has "no control over what the stadium is called." Cornett said that the fact that the team's opening day was Thursday "played a role in the change coming so quickly." RedHawks President & GM Michael Byrnes said that Newcastle Casino will "continue to be featured in the Chickasaws' sponsorship of the team, which predated the naming rights deal." A Chickasaw spokesperson said that there is "no timetable on when signs at the stadium will reflect the new name" (OKLAHOMAN, 4/6). Also in Oklahoma City, Barry Tramel writes, "Everyone came out a winner with the change. The RedHawks still get their Chickasaw money. The city outmuscled a little burg in McClain County for metro supremacy. Newcastle Casino got its message to the masses that the black jack tables are open just across the river" (OKLAHOMAN, 4/6).
AROUND THE HORN: Charlotte-based box office and ticketing services company TicketReturn.com reached a one-year naming rights deal with the Single-A Carolina League Myrtle Beach Pelicans to name the team's stadium TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark (Pelicans). The ballpark was BB&T Coastal Field until the bank's naming rights contract "expired at the end of December" (MYRTLEBACHONLINE.com, 4/3)....The Single-A South Atlantic League Kannapolis Intimidators and Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast reached a naming-rights deal for the '12 season to name the team's ballpark CMC-NorthEast Stadium (Intimidators). The park had been "named Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium since it was built" in '94. The now-defunct textile company originally paid $300,000 for the naming rights. It was "supposed to be for the life of the stadium, but Pillowtex Inc., which later bought the company, was liquidated" (INDEPENDENTTRIBUNE.com, 4/2).