For the past quarter century — through Reggie Theus, Chris Webber, Vlade Divac and now Tyreke Evans — the Sacramento Kings have played at ARCO Arena.
By the fall of 2011, that will be no more. The 25-year deal between ARCO — owned by BP — and the arena runs out in February and the oil and gas company will not be renewing the deal, according to the Sacramento Bee. The name will remain on the building through the end of this season.
Which leaves the Maloofs looking for a new big-money sponsor in a terrible economy. Good luck with that.
Actually, it’s much more than just the economy. The Maloofs and the NBA have talked down ARCO arena — basically calling it an old and outdated building — as they try to drum up public support for a new building. Then there is the likely lockout next season, which could cut into games at the start of next season.
So the pitch is, “We want your name on a building we will talk poorly about, try desperately to move out of and may not have games to start next season in it.”
Sacramento is still a relatively small market — Arena sponsorship money will matter a lot on the team’s bottom line. But that was not a lot of money now.
ARCO paid between $700,000 and $750,000 per year for the naming rights. That was a groundbreakingly large amount of money when the deal was signed a quarter century ago, but is well below market value now.
Except getting market value is hard. Remember the new NFL Cowboys Stadium is still without naming rights as owner Jerry Jones waits on the market to come back to him. That may be harder for the Maloofs to do, but their price tag will be smaller as well.