A proposed Richmond Flying Squirrels (Class AA; Eastern League) new-ballpark lease payment of $1.7 million could be lowered with the sale of naming rights.
The Richmond Economic Development Authority is taking the lead on the development of a new Shockoe Bottom ballpark, and the lease would be between the EDA and the Squirrels. The Squirrels would not manage the venue; instead, the proposed ballpark plan calls for a “qualified service provider” to manage the facility. This could be let out to bid.
Not all the details of a proposed ballpark have been released, but next week two city council committees are slated to review the Shockoe Bottom development plan. From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
City officials believe the naming rights would sell for more than $600,000, but after factoring in other obligations to a sponsor such as signage, advertising and suites, that would be the net value, according to Chief Administrative Officer Byron C. Marshall.
“If we feel like we can make more money from us selling the naming rights, then we would do it. If we feel like at the end of the day that the risk is greater than the possible rewards, we’d have the Squirrels take care of it,” Marshall said in an interview Thursday with the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
The team’s annual rental rate for the stadium would be $1.7 million over a 30-year term beginning Feb. 1, 2016, according to city documents, but the EDA would keep the opportunity to sell the naming rights itself for more than $600,000 in order to bring its debt costs down.
Virginia Commonwealth University is also expected to play at the new ballpark.
The new ballpark will be part of a Shockoe Bottom development that will include a hotel, 750 apartments, grocery store and slavery memorial.
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