Venue News & Notes: No-Name Niners Stadium?

By the time the San Francisco 49ers break ground on their new stadium in Santa Clara, CA, the team will be looking for a big-name sponsor to adorn the front of the arena — and help defray some of its $937 million cost. However, finding a naming-rights partner in this economy, as the Dallas Cowboys have learned, is easier said that done. Many companies that were strong naming partners in the past are in the financial-services and insurance industries and are less likely to spend what some view as unnecessary marketing dollars to put their label on a billion-dollar stadium.

If shovels hit dirt on the proposed $937 million San Francisco 49ers stadium in Santa Clara, odds are the team will have already lined up naming rights to the venue. But experts say the process will be made all the more complicated, thanks to the economy. Naming rights present a potentially lucrative source of revenue for a team, with multiyear, multimillion-dollar deals struck between teams and companies seeking to get their names on buildings, in the mouths of broadcast announcers, and in front of millions of fans a year. The 49ers will probably look for a strong national name to place on its facility…

…Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium will play host in 2014 and 2016 to the Army-Navy football game, a rivalry long associated with Philadelphia that is expected to generate as much as $22 million per game for the area’s economy. In 2011, the annual, tradition-rich game will be played for the first time at FedEx Field in Landover, MD, home of the Washington Redskins. It was last played in Baltimore in 2007…

…Recently, the San Diego Sports Arena has entered into the realm of social-networking sites. Officials of the San Diego Sports Arena realize that, in today’s environment, businesses need to come to the consumer, rather than the other way around. The Sports Arena, by creating accounts with Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, is trying to reach out and engage its fan base on the Internet. These sites are a way to inform the fans about what is going on at the facility…

…Pushed to the fiscal brink by rising electricity costs and the price of a new roof, a small Quebec village mulled whether to shutter a local temple: the indoor hockey rink. The town of Chute-aux-Outardes reluctantly boarded up the Valere-Bouchard Arena last year. The weight that tipped the balance? Modifications required by an international treaty to slash greenhouse-gas emissions. Hundreds of communities across Canada are facing a similar financial obstacle: finding funds to overhaul arena refrigeration systems to meet requirements of the Montreal Protocol.

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