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Royals on verge of selling Kauffman Stadium naming rights?

Kansas City RoyalsThe Kansas City Royals are on the verge of selling naming rights to Kauffman Stadium, according to a local TV station, with an announcement coming as soon as today. UPDATED!

When an agreement was reached in 2006 with local municipalities to renovate Kauffman Stadium and next-door Arrowhead Stadium, the Royals and the Kansas City Chiefs (NFL) gained the power to sell naming rights to their facilities. Since then there have been various rumors about naming-rights deals coming down the pike — though, interestingly, more prevalent with the Chiefs — and this time the rumors apparently have some foundation, according to the local NBC affiliate.

No specifics at this time, other than it will be a corporate buy for Kauffman Stadium, with a price tag expected to be between $3 million and $6 million annually, with half to the Royals and half dedicated to ballpark maintenance. A big reason why a deal is coming down the pike now: the 2012 All-Star Game. Speculation centers around Arvest Bank as the

The ballpark opened in 1973 as Royals Stadium; it was renamed in the middle of the 1993 season after the late owner of the Royals, Ewing Kauffman.

UPDATE: The Royals say nothing is imminent:

“Amid a variety of reports that the Royals were nearing an announcement today, we felt it necessary to address the situation. Since the renovations were completed prior to the 2009 season, our organization has been open to listening to proposals with regards to a naming rights partner, but at this time no agreement has come to fruition. With that said, there is nothing else to comment on regarding naming rights.”

It’s important to note that these rumors pop up frequently; last month blogger Bob Gretz reported the Chiefs had sold naming rights to Arrowhead Stadium. As of now there’s no naming-rights deal, and Gretz’s post on the matter is basically a spam factory.


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