The San Francisco Giants are getting ready to take down AT&T Park signage at their China Basin ballpark, and according to reports by the San Francisco Chronicle, they will announce a new name for their home on Thursday: Oracle Park.
The Examiner confirmed the report on Wednesday evening.
The Giants will announce the name change and a 20-year naming rights deal on Thursday in a press conference, according to a Giants official, a deal that reportedly valued between $300-350 million, which would make it one of the richest naming-rights deals in North American professional sports.
In 2013, Dallas-based AT&T reportedly paid $17 million to $19 million per year for the rights to the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena owns the richest stadium naming-rights deal in North America, at $639 million over 21 years. New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium’s naming rights deal is estimated between $425 million and $625 million by Sports Business Journal (on a 26-year deal). The Chase Center, set to open next October, has a naming rights deal worth a reported $300 million to $400 million for a deal that covers 24 years. The top MLB deal belongs to New York Mets’ Citi Field, the naming rights of which are worth an estimated $400 million between 2006 and 2028.
The Seattle Mariners, who just sold their park naming rights to T-Mobile, will get at $87.5 million over the next 25 years.
The Giants earned about $100 million over 22 years on the original naming-rights deal with AT&T predecessor Pacific Telesis, beginning in 1996. San Francisco-based “Baby Bell” agreed to pay $50 million over 23 years, including an up-front $23 million payment to help build the stadium.
The park opened in 2000 as Pacific Bell Park, before turning into SBC Park in 2003 (after the Texas-based firm bought Pacific Telesis), and then, in 2006, AT&T Park, when SBC bought AT&T and adopted the company’s more-recognizable name.
The AT&T Park name is bound up in memories for Giants fans, including three World Series titles, the 2008 All-Star game and Barry Bonds’ 756th home run.
AT&T’s naming rights were set to expire after the 2019 season, but according to the report by the Chronicle, the company gave the Giants the option of ending the deal a year early if the team could find a partner. Redwood City-based Oracle, which will see the Golden State Warriors abandon the yet-to-be-renamed Oracle Arena after the current NBA season for San Francisco’s Chase Center, was a clear choice.
Founded in 1977, Oracle is a $40 billion software company that employs 137,000 employees, and is based in the Bay Area. Oracle has sponsored the suite level at the park since 2003, and holds a concert there during its annual OpenWorld conference every fall.MLB