Facility naming rights are a common revenue source, and that holds true in Major League Baseball, where two-thirds of ballparks are tied to a naming-rights partnership. However, there are currently 10 without any sort of naming-rights agreement, and their reasons why are unique.
For some, it is a matter of tradition outweighing any revenue naming rights, while others are older ballparks that have had corporate partners in the past. Others, however, may have simply opened at a poor time economically for naming-rights deals.
Below are the 10 current MLB ballparks without naming-rights deals, as listed in order of oldest to newest.
Fenway Park, Boston Red Sox (1912)
The only name the ballpark has ever know, Fenway Park has never been tied to an official naming-rights agreement. The origin claimed by then Red Sox owner John I. Taylor was that the ballpark’s name came from its location in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood, but as many have pointed out, the Taylor family also owned the Fenway Realty Company. Regardless of its precise origin, the Fenway Park name is deeply rooted in tradition, and the Red Sox have shown no signs of putting the ballpark’s naming rights on the block.
Wrigley Field, Chicago Cubs (1914)
First known as Weeghman Park, the ballpark did not become Wrigley Field until confectionary magnate and Cubs William Wrigley applied the name in 1926. There has been speculation off and on over the years that naming rights to the ballpark could be put on the block, but current Cubs ownership has maintained for years that it is not interested in pursuing an agreement.
Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles Dodgers (1962)
When Dodger Stadium opened, it was home to both the Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels, the latter usually referring to it as Chavez Ravine. However, the Angels would leave for their own ballpark after the 1965 season, and the tradition of the Dodgers being the sole occupant of their eponymous ballpark has remained intact ever since. Although the Dodgers have never sold naming rights to Dodger Stadium, various areas of the facility have landed their own naming-rights partnerships (as is the case at ballparks such as Fenway and Wrigley).
Angel Stadium, Los Angeles Angels (1966)
One of the few ballparks on this list that was previously the subject of a naming-rights agreement, Angel Stadium was originally known as Anaheim Stadium. It became Edison International Field in the 1998 season, coinciding with the completion of a major renovation, but local utility Edison International opted out of its naming-rights agreement after the 2003 season. The ballpark officially became Angel Stadium of Anaheim after Edison opted out of the deal and has not changed since.
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland A’s (1966)
Multiple naming-rights-influenced monikers have been applied to the Coliseum over the years, with the most recent, O.Co Coliseum, ending in 2016. There has been very recent interest in securing a new naming-rights partnership, but any agreement would likely be part of a short-term arrangement. The A’s are currently pursuing a new ballpark at the waterfront Howard Terminal site, and are hoping to open it as early as 2023.
Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City Royals (1973)
First known as Royals Stadium, the ballpark became Kauffman Stadium in honor of late Royals founder and owner Ewing Kauffman in time for the 1994 season. The Royals have explored a sale of naming rights in the past—an effort fell through in 2012 when the Royals and U.S. Bank failed to reach an agreement—but there have been no recent signs that ballpark naming rights are being shopped.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore Orioles (1992)
The official name of Oriole Park at Camden Yards borrows from several ballparks in the city’s past (Oriole Park) and a former rail terminal that occupied the current ballpark site (Camden Yards). The Orioles were awarded naming rights to the ballpark by a panel of arbitrators in 2001, but there seems to be no interest on the organization’s part for supplanting the traditional name in favor of a naming-rights partnership.
Nationals Park, Washington Nationals (2008)
Nationals Park has never had a corporate naming-rights partner, despite the fact that the Nationals have fielded plenty of competitive teams in their years at the ballpark and have shown prior interest in selling ballpark naming rights. For now, Nationals Park is entering its 12th season with no corporate naming-rights partner, but that could eventually change, especially as more development takes place in the area surrounding the ballpark.
Yankee Stadium, New York Yankees (2009)
Borrowed from the ballpark’s predecessor, the Yankee Stadium name has a much longer tradition than the current Yankee Stadium’s age would indicate. The Yankees have been able to leverage plenty of revenue opportunities over the years, which has helped keep the Yankee Stadium name in place and allowed that tradition to continue.
Marlins Park, Miami Marlins (2012)
Another ballpark that has never been tied to a corporate naming-rights agreement, Marlins Park could have its naming rights sold eventually—it appears to be on the radar of the Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter-led ownership regime. For now, however, the ownership group has been focused on an on-field rebuild as well as several renovations to Marlins Park being completed for the 2019 season. In this case, as well as Nationals Park, the recession of the late 2000’s might have created unfavorable conditions for the initial sale of naming rights.
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