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Volume 25 No. 27

Facilities

Even though Pepsi owns the Tropicana brand, the Coca-Cola deal is independent of the naming rights deal
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Tropicana Field is “switching its pouring rights" from PepsiCo to Coca-Cola after partnering with Coke Florida, according to Sara DiNatale of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. A Rays spokesperson said that the ballpark will “still offer Tropicana OJ, even though the brand is outside the Coke family.” It is “still unclear what will happen to the Pepsi Bottle mascot races, which have featured Pepsi drinks and an Aquafina water bottle.” MLB last year “entered a multi-year deal with Coca-Cola to be its official beverage sponsor, but that deal did not require teams like the Rays with Pepsi contracts to make a switch” (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 2/16). Even though Pepsi owns the Tropicana brand, the Coca-Cola deal is “independent of the naming rights deal,” which runs through ‘27, and “has no impact on it” (TAMPABAY.com, 2/15).

GAME PLAN: In Tampa, Marc Topkin notes now that the Rays have committed to a site for a new ballpark in Ybor City, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on Thursday “pointed to two more hurdles on their path to success.” The first is that local businesses “absolutely, positively have to step up as a big part of the financing and revenue-increasing plan.” The second is that the deal “worked out has to be favorable enough financially to the Rays -- thus not cost them too much -- that they can substantially increase their revenues enough to compete with their bigger-market brethren.” Manfred: “It's crucial that we get a facility here that allows the Rays to get more toward the middle of the industry in terms of their revenues" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 2/16).