The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum is set for a new naming-rights contract, but the latest agreement reflects the short-term status of the Oakland Raiders and potentially the venue itself.
Earlier this week, it was reported by the San Francisco Chronicle that Ring Central—a Belmont-based cloud communications provider—is set to buy naming rights for the Coliseum under an agreement that would rename the venue Ring Central Coliseum. A final vote is not expected until Friday, but the terms of the agreement call for Ring Central to pay $1 million annually for three years, with an option for a fourth year.
Traditionally naming-rights sales have offered the prospect of a revenue bump for the Raiders, but that will not be the case with this agreement. When the Raiders finally secured a lease extension this spring to return to the Coliseum for 2019, one of the clauses they agreed to was that they would not receive any proceeds from a naming-rights sale. With the Raiders slated to move to Las Vegas after the coming season, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority officialsworked to secure itself a lease extension with the organization that ultimately gave the authority full proceeds from any naming-rights revenue.
The naming-rights agreement is short-term for a reason other than the Raiders’ impending move. The Oakland A’s are currently pursuing a new ballpark at the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal, and could render the Coliseum obsolete by 2023 if that pursuit is successful. More from the San Francisco Chronicle:
However, the Raiders have since negotiated a one- to two-year extension of their Coliseum lease while their new Las Vegas stadium is being built, so Ring Central gets the added boost of having their name visible at Raiders games for free.
On the upside, the authority will get the full $1 million, whereas in the past they split the revenue with the Raiders — the A’s got nothing then or now.
If the authority directors approve the deal Friday, the name change would go into effect immediately — although it will likely take another two months for the new signs to go up.
The Raiders’ lease does provide a 2020 option as a contingency, so the Ring Central name could stick in the NFL for two seasons if Las Vegas Stadium construction falls behind schedule. As for the A’s, the franchise is making progress on its Howard Terminal ballpark proposal, but it still has several steps to go until that plan is finalize.
Prior to Ring Central Coliseum, the Coliseum had multiple naming-rights-influenced identities in the past, including Network Associates Coliseum, McAfee Coliseum, Overstock.com Coliseum, and O.Co Coliseum. The most recent of those monikers was removed in 2016, the year O.co (formerly Overstock.com) walked away from a $1.45-million annual naming-rights deal when the Raiders announced a move from Oakland.
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