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Volume 27 No. 10
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Islanders Belmont Park Arena Naming Rights Going To UBS

Oak View Group has secured the largest naming rights deal for a standalone NHL arena. The venue developer and investment firm sold the naming rights to the Islanders mixed-use Belmont Park Arena and development on Long Island for $350 million to Swiss investment bank UBS, according to sources familiar with the deal.

The 20-year deal naming rights deal, which will pay out $17.5-18 million annually, has incentives related to the team’s performance that could push the deal's total value to nearly $400 million, sources said. As a part of the deal, UBS will also have an entitlement to the largest premium club in the arena.

“UBS was at the top of the list of companies that we felt sort of fit the ethos of the project. We’ve been very diligent in trying to communicate how premium the building is,” OVG President of Global Partnerships Dan Griffis told SBJ. Even though UBS has a large presence in the New York and the tri-state region, there were questions about how committed the company was to the U.S., Griffis said.

The deal was a marketing opportunity that UBS could not pass up and shows the bank is serious about maintaining its U.S. presence, he added. “Even though our conversation started before the pandemic, they were more concerned with helping the local economy,” Griffis said of UBS. “They felt by investing and putting their name on one of the largest development projects in New York ... was a unique opportunity for them.”

OVG, which has a stake in the $1.5 billion Belmont development project, did not use an outside agency to broker or evaluate the deal. “Not from a valuation perspective, not from a selling perspective and UBS did not use an agency from their side of it,” Griffis said. “It was literally straight up through a relationship with the client that we were able to negotiate it.”

The Belmont Park deal marks OVG’s second naming rights deal within the past month and fourth deal in 8 months. In late June, OVG sold NHL Seattle's arena naming rights to Amazon. The building, which Amazon and OVG referred to as the world’s first net zero carbon certified arena, will be called Climate Pledge Arena. OVG will also operate the venue.

OVG will have one more naming rights deal to announce in the next 30 days, Griffis added.