CHARLOTTE — The home of the Panthers and Charlotte FC may get a new name.
The two-decade naming rights agreement for Bank of America Stadium is coming to an end, according to our partners at the Charlotte Observer.
Bank of America bought the stadium in 2004 under a 20-year agreement for a total cost of $140 million, or about $7 million a season. Nothing is known about Bank of America renewing the contract; a bank spokesperson told the Observer they could not comment.
Tepper Sports and Entertainment, the group that owns the Carolina Panthers, shared this statement on Friday:
“Out of respect for our partners and the proprietary nature of our contracts, the organization does not publicly comment on the status of our partnerships.”
Although stadium naming is an advertising tool to bring more visibility to a brand, sports economist and professor of economics at UNC Charlotte Craig Depken told the Observer that it is also about goodwill in the community.
“Naming rights deals don’t generate huge revenue for sponsors,” Depken said.
Even with a lack of funds coming in, the price tag on stadium naming rights continues to rise.
Twenty years ago, the deal between the Panthers and Bank of America was one of the biggest at the time, the Observer reports. Today, an average stadium naming rights deal in the U.S. is about $14 million per year. According to Depken to the Observer, he expects the cost of the Panthers stadium to jump to $10 to $15 million per year.
Across the country, stadium prices are on the rise, with some prices doubling and tripling in the last year. Last year, the Cincinnati Bengals and Paycor signed a deal for $12 million a year for 16 years, according to the Observer.
Social media has been busy this week with backup stadium name sponsors if Bank of America chooses not to renew. Some are suggesting North Carolina classics like Cheerwine and Krispy Kreme, while others think Lowe’s and Duke Energy would fit the bill, the Observer reports.
“They could turn on a 12-inch-tall ‘hot now’ sign when we win,” one user said, the Observer found.
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