Monday, September 15, 2008

Right on Target 

The name of the Twins new ballpark? Target Field.

The club announced on Monday morning that they have reached an agreement in principle on a 25-year deal that includes the naming rights for Target Field. The ballpark is scheduled to open in 2010.

Financial terms of the pact were not released.

Some speculate the value of the naming rights at $4-6 million; given that Target would also get the pedestrian mall between the park and downtown as "Target Plaza", I am going to bet on the high side of that figure.

Compared to the disaster going on with the football stadium naming rights in New York City, we should be relieved to have this done quietly. It interests me though that Target would decide the experience with the Wolves and Target Center have been good enough to double its bet on naming sports stadia. The evidence out there suggests naming rights are profitable to the teams that sell them (though it doesn't appear to encourage spending more on players) but show no effect on the profits of the firms that buy them. (Enron Field, anyone?) Did Target value it higher because it didn't want another park named after some other firm so close to the arena it had already named?

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