Talks Heating Up For Naming Rights At Prospective Rays Ballpark
Two Florida-based "'household name' companies have met multiple times with a private booster group to discuss a naming rights deal" for a new Rays ballpark, according to Charlie Frago of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. Tampa lawyer Ron Christaldi, co-founder of Rays 2020, "declined to name the companies." But he said a multiyear deal for the proposed Ybor City ballpark "could be in the range" of $5-10M a year. Christaldi framed the naming rights discussions as "part of a gathering corporate momentum" in support of bringing MLB to Ybor City. Earlier this month, he said that his group had "received pledges" of $160M in "new support -- think suites and sponsorships -- over a ten-year period." Meanwhile, pressure is "mounting as the clock ticks on a Dec. 31 deadline" for the team to explore ballpark sites around Tampa as was agreed upon by the Rays and the city of St. Petersburg. Once a clear financing picture emerges by the end of the year, Christaldi said that he "expects more corporate money to surface" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 11/27).