The NFL’s St Louis Rams have reportely penned a stadium naming-rights deal worth USD$158m with National Car Rental for their proposed riverfront stadium that would be built in St. Louis.
The stadium, which would replace the team’s Edward Jones Dome, has been proposed to help keep the Rams in St. Louis, although owner, Stan Kroenke – who also holds a majority stake in English soccer team Arsenal FC – has expressed a desire to move the team to Los Angeles.
National Car Rental have reached a 20-year agreement with the St. Louis Regional Sports Authority (who would be the owner/operator) for the stadium, which would be known as ‘National Car Rental Field‘. Officials with the stadium task force and the Company told the Associated Press about the deal on Tuesday.
The St. Louis-based company will pay USD$6.5m in the first year, with a 2% annual inflation escalator every year after that. (The average annual payout would be approximately USD$7.9m.)
The deal includes signage on the interior and exterior of the stadium featuring the National Car Rental brand name.
The parent company of National Car Rental is Enterprise Holdings, who also owns Enterprise and Alamo car rental companies.
Govenor Jay Nixon released the following statement regarding the announcement on Wednesday:
Today’s announcement is another concrete step forward and a powerful affirmation of the St. Louis business community’s strong support for this project.
Private investment and taxpayer protection have been pillars of this effort from Day One, and I thank National Car Rental, the Taylor family, as well as Dave Peacock and Bob Blitz for their work to keep the NFL in St. Louis, redevelop the north riverfront and build a brighter future for the region as a whole.
The stadium project is certainly not a ‘done-deal’ and hinges on the League’s decision regarding which team (if any) will be granted permission to re-locate to Los Angeles.
However, this naming-rights agreement would be a significant step in demonstrating the feasibility of the stadium plans, just days ahead of a League meeting to discuss the potential move of the club. The Rams are competing with the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders (whose proposed ‘shared’ MANICA-designed stadium features in the latest Q3 edition of PanStadia & Arena Management magazine), both of whom are mooting a move to LA.
Source: Associated Press
Image courtesy: St. Louis Regional Sports Authority