The proposed riverfront football stadium in St. Louis got a cash infusion late yesterday, as Missouri governor Jay Nixon’s stadium task force unveiled a $158 million sponsorship deal.
The deal between the task force and Enterprise Holdings, the parent company of National Car Rental, would name the proposed stadium National Car Rental Field. The deal would be for 20 years and worth an average of $7.9 million a year according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
A plan for how the funds would be dispersed hasn’t been revealed yet, and a few options could be considered. The funds could go to the state or the city of St. Louis and provide funding for stadium construction, or it could go to team owners as a guaranteed revenue stream. A new stadium could cost $1 billion, and the deal would defray those costs.
Patrick Farrell, chief marketing officer for Enterprise, described the decision as a no-brainer, commenting on the visibility and high-profile of the naming rights advertising.
The timing of the announcement is convenient for St. Louis stadium proponents, eager to send a message to the league. NFL owners are gathered in New York this week to discuss moving a team to Los Angeles. Two stadium proposals are on the table, including one that would house the Rams and another that would be a two-team stadium, housing the Chargers and the Raiders.
The stadium task force has long said that it won’t proceed with building the stadium without a commitment from an NFL team.