Multi-Million Dollar Rip-off: Coors Field Naming Rights

“In 1995, Adolph Coors Company paid $15 M for the naming rights to Coors Field. The deal is for an indefinite period of time. This was Major League Baseball’s first open-ended naming rights arrangement.”

Even though they paid for the whole shebang, the taxpayers of the metro Denver area got nothing in return for Coors Brewing permanently stamping their name on Denver’s baseball stadium. Not only that, but Coors, now Miller/Coors, got the deal of the century. First, the Rockies sold them the naming rights for 15 million dollars for FOREVER! Second, newspaper articles claim that the Rockies were supposed to share the revenue with the Stadium district (consisting of Denver and surrounding cities), but NEVER DID. Let us compare that to other stadiums, shall we? Citizens Bank named Philadelphia’s stadium for $95 million over 25 years, or $3.8 million per year. Since the Phillies opened the stadium in 2004, they have already earned $19 million before this year started. CitiCorp is paying the Mets $20 million per year for 20 years, or $400 million! In fact, even the lowest priced naming deal is almost DOUBLE the amount Coors paid the Rockies! Many of the other stadiums are in much smaller market areas with far less attendance, too! And remember, the average annual price goes down every year, because it is FOREVER!

One other small detail should be disclosed in connection with this travesty. Namely, that Coors is a part owner of the Rockies! Can you say “conflict of interest”? If Coors and the Monforts wanted to show their fans, as well as the taxpayers, that they are not greedy and dishonest, and are grateful for the support of local government and fans, they would renegotiate the deal for a reasonable price and SHARE THE MONEY with the people that made them possible in the first place. Don’t hold your breath, though.

Stadium Name Sponsor Home Teams Avg. $/Year
Coors Field Coors Brewing Colorado Rockies $882,353
Tropicana Field Tropicana Tampa Bay Devil Rays $1,500,000
PNC Park PNC Bank Pittsburgh Pirates $2,000,000
Safeco Field Safeco Corp. Seattle Mariners $2,000,000
Miller Park Miller Brewing Milwaukee Brewers $2,100,000
SBC Park SBC Communications San Francisco Giants $2,100,000
Chase Field JP Morgan Chase Arizona Diamondbacks $2,200,000
Comerica Park Comerica Detroit Tigers $2,200,000
Citizens Bank Park Citizens Bank Philadelphia Phillies $2,300,000
Ameriquest Field Ameriquest Capital Corp. Texas Rangers $2,500,000
Great American Ball Park Great American Insurance Cincinnati Reds $2,500,000
Petco Park PETCO San Diego Padres $2,700,000
U.S. Cellular Field U.S. Cellular Chicago White Sox $3,400,000
Progressive Field Progressive Insurance Cleveland Indians $3,600,000
Minute Maid Park Coca Cola Houston Astros $6,000,000
Citi Field CitiCorp New York Mets $20,000,000

Data from ESPN and ballparksofbaseball.com, as well as independent research.

©Copyright 2011, The Baseball Observer

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