Um, yeah, if the Dodgers’ new owners sell naming rights to Dodger Stadium, as Bill Shaikin of the Times suggests is possible, it’s going to stink.
But reading deeper into Shaikin’s story, perhaps we shouldn’t worry.
… In 2006, the New York Mets sold the naming rights to Citi Field for $400 million — a record for a major league team — but the market has cooled since then. The Texas Rangers, the two-time defending American League champions, do not have a corporate name atop their ballpark. Neither do the Miami Marlins, even for the grand opening of their stadium this year.
In 2003, as Frank McCourt completed his purchase of the Dodgers, his business plan included the sale of naming rights. … McCourt did not sell the naming rights to Dodger Stadium, but he received interest from several corporations, according to people familiar with the team’s sale process.
David Carter, executive director of the USC Sports Business Institute, said a new owner would be wise to at least consider a naming rights deal but wiser still not to make any immediate move in that direction.
“You have to list that as part of your marketing inventory, but it would never be the first club out of the bag for a new owner, because of the sensitivity,” Carter said.
“A new owner is not going to want to come in and trample over the brand he is trying to restore. …
Edison Field ceased to exist after the 2003 season, when the company canceled the deal. Arte Moreno, who had just bought the team from Disney, did not pursue another deal and opted to call the ballpark Angel Stadium.
“He’s not selling the naming rights,” Wagner said, “because he sees the value of the brand.”