After some controversy, the Joliet City Council has signed off on a naming-rights deal negotiated by the Joliet Slammers (independent; Frontier League) for DuPage Medical Group Field.
On May 21, the Slammers announced a ballpark naming-rights agreement with DuPage Medical Group. When that agreement was announced, there some concern among city officials that it had not gone through proper approval channels. While the Slammers’ lease allows the team to act as an exclusive agent in naming-rights negotiations, it grants the city the right to approve the terms of any agreement and receive an even split of revenue.
The Slammers have said that a city official had approved the naming-rights deal before it was announced, but elected officials still questioned if the agreement should have been made public and subject to a city council vote. The agreement did go before the city council on Tuesday, ultimately passing 5-3. Since the naming-rights deal is an agreement between two private parties, and the city is not a party to it, terms such as the contract length and amount were kept under wraps, a point that was questioned leading up to the vote. More from The Herald-News:
“Do we know legally yes or no whether we can approve this without us being privy to the agreement?” [Council member Sherri] Reardon asked City Attorney Martin Shanahan
“I don’t understand your question,” Shanahan said. “We’re just following what the lease says. The city has to approve it.”
The naming rights for the stadium are negotiated by the Slammers, who, according to the team lease with Joliet, serve as the city’s agent in the deal.
Shanahan, who was interim city manager when the deal was negotiated, has said the city is not a party to the agreement. A Slammers executive has said that Shanahan gave his OK on the deal before it was approved by the team and DuPage Medical Group.
DuPage Medical Group Field is the ballpark’s first sponsor-influence name since the original Silver Cross Field moniker.
Rendering courtesy Joliet Slammers.
RELATED STORIES: New for 2019: DuPage Medical Group Field