Amount of AT&T deal with stadium disclosed

By: ArkansasOnline
Published: Thursday, June 24, 2010
Cheerleaders from Mount St. Mary and Catholic High School uncover a logo Wednesday at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock after an announcement naming the playing surface the AT&T Field. Announcing the sponsorship were (background left to right) Ed Drilling, AT&T Arkansas president; Terry Williams, Arkansas Veterans Commission chairman; Steve Gray, AT&T vice president and general manager; and Gary Smith, War Memorial Stadium Commission chairman.
Cheerleaders from Mount St. Mary and Catholic High School uncover a logo Wednesday at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock after an announcement naming the playing surface the AT&T Field. Announcing the sponsorship were (background left to right) Ed Drilling, AT&T Arkansas president; Terry Williams, Arkansas Veterans Commission chairman; Steve Gray, AT&T vice president and general manager; and Gary Smith, War Memorial Stadium Commission chairman.

A deal that puts AT&T's name on the field at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock is potentially worth up to $1.8 million over a 10-year span, it was revealed Thursday.

The naming rights agreement was announced Wednesday in a big news conference that included an unveiling of the logo, but details of the amount of that arrangement weren't immediately disclosed.

AT&T sought to keep that under wraps, citing proprietary concerns. But a Freedom of Information Act request, submitted by several media outlets, resulted in the details of the deal released Thursday afternoon.

The 62-year-old stadium is a state-owned facility, and commissioners are appointed by the governor.

Gary Smith, chairman of the commission, said Wednesday that the deal was "very favorable to the stadium and is totally consistent with the value that was placed on the sponsorship by sports marketing professionals."

The details released Thursday show that the stadium will pay $50,000 to install the new signs, while AT&T will pay an annual fee of $175,000 for the first five years of the contract.

The contract can be renewed for another five years, and AT&T will pay $179,375 in that sixth year and increase the payment 2.5 percent a year for the remaining four years of the deal.

The playing field will be named “AT&T Field” and the company’s sign will replace a Bank of America sign that faces Markham Street; AT&T signs will also be inside and outside the stadium and the company’s name will be on directional signs guiding guests to and from the arena, Smith said.

Read more here: LR stadium deal details kept secret

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

Discussion