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Volume 20 No. 42
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Stadium could provide another peak deal

The proposed stadium, shown in a rendering, will be ready for the Raiders in 2020.
Sports marketers project naming-rights deals for NFL stadiums in Los Angeles and Las Vegas could set records.

Consultant Rob Yowell, president of Gemini Sports Group, which works on naming-rights deals, said he thinks the Raiders’ stadium could fetch between $15 million and $18 million a year over 20 years.

By comparison, naming rights to the Rams-Chargers stadium under construction in Inglewood, Calif., could hit $20 million a year and, driven by its location in the country’s second-biggest market, potentially up to $30 million a year, according to some observers.

MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Jets and Giants, has the top naming-rights deal in North American sports with a value of $16 million to $25 million a year, according to SportsBusiness Journal research.

“The Rams will certainly ask for $30 million. I’m just not sure what someone will be willing to pay over 20-plus years,” Yowell said. “[Rams owner Stan] Kroenke has some business leverage to work with [tied to his mixed-use project next door and assets in Denver], so maybe he can get that money.”

The Rams hired Legends Global Sales to sell naming rights in Inglewood. Multiple firms are competing for the role in Las Vegas, sources said.

In Vegas, a city that plays host to high-profile events and conventions attracting millions of international visitors annually, the Raiders are in prime position to strike a major deal in a strong global economy, said Randy Bernstein, president and CEO of Premier Partnerships. Last year, AEG Global Partnerships sold naming rights for T-Mobile Arena in a 15-year deal reported around $6 million a year, which would place it near the top five among big league arenas.

But Vegas remains largely a transient market, and it’s important for the new Raiders’ stadium to line up as many events as possible in the next three years leading up to the opening in 2020 to prove its value to potential naming-rights partners, Bernstein said.

That was the case with Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, a Premier Partnerships client. Over the past few years, the Falcons have secured the Super Bowl, Final Four and the College Football Playoff title game, among other big events, for the stadium, targeted to open this summer.

In Vegas, tourism will be the key factor for driving business at the Raiders’ facility, Bernstein said.

“This stadium needs to be multifunctional more than any other in the NFL,” he said. “They can’t rely on the local market to keep it active. It’s among 100 points to discuss for how to create value. If that happens, it should have no problem being in the top five in the NFL for naming rights.”

For Raiders games alone, Yowell said the team should have no problem drawing fans from both Oakland and Los Angeles, its home from 1982 to ’94. It’s a 45-minute flight from L.A. to Vegas, and a little over an hour from Oakland to Vegas.

“As long as it’s just the Raiders and those same colors, silver and black, it doesn’t matter where they play,” he said. “That’s their brand. The fans will show up and now they have a market that’s the ultimate party town. The Strip is going to be extremely colorful on home game weekends.”