The Las Vegas Convention and Visitor’s Authority (LVCA) has signed a 20-year, $80 million contract to be the naming sponsor for the 51’s new ballpark. The deal has upset Las Vegas residents, as both the sponsoring organization and the amount agreed upon are atypical. A review of more than 250 professional sporting venues failed to turn up another government agency that sponsors a building. Furthermore, there are at least a dozen MLB teams that bring in less than $4 million/year from their stadium sponsorship deals.
Howie Long-Short: Of course Las Vegas residents are upset. This is a sham of a deal, executed while the city recovers. No other minor-league team has a naming rights deal worth more than $1 million. For $4 million/year, the LVCA could have had their name on nearly all 15 Pacific Coast League (PCL) parks. Heck, HHC bought into the team in 2013 at a $20 million valuation. This is a construction subsidy dressed as a naming rights deal and it’s a tremendous waste of tax payer dollars.
Fan Marino: As it currently stands, the 51s are without MLB affiliation for the 2019 season when the ballpark is scheduled to open. Their current affiliation with the New York Mets expires at the end of the ‘18 season and the NY franchise recently purchased the Syracuse Chiefs (another Triple A team); meaning they won’t be renewing. It is possible the new affiliate will not be announced until as late as September 2018. The Brewers and Nationals have been mentioned as possible replacements.