Ever since the 2017-18 NBA and NHL seasons concluded, there has been something of a shakeup when it comes to arena naming rights. The highest-profile arena opening this fall now has an official name, while several more established venues saw their names change. To provide a snapshot of the movement that has unfolded in recent months, here is an overview of new naming-rights deals for the 2018-19 NBA and NHL seasons.
Fiserv Forum—Milwaukee Bucks
The only new arena opening in either league this year had attracted plenty of speculation when it came to prospective naming-rights partners, and that chatter ceased when the Bucks announced an agreement last week with Fiserv, Inc. The pact between the Bucks and the Brookfield, WI-based financial services technology provider runs for 25 years.
Financial terms have not been reported to this point. However, the deal has prompted some concerns from Wisconsin lawmakers, as it comes less than a year after the approval of a $12.5 million incentive package for the company to build a new headquarters in the state. (Fiserv has not committed to staying in Wisconsin, so it technically has not started claiming the credits). Fiserv Forum will serve as the anchor of a larger downtown development plan, which includes a new entertainment block that is set to open in 2019.
Enterprise Center—St. Louis Blues
In May, the Blues announced a 15-year agreement with Enterprise to rename the former Scottrade Center. The agreement coincides with some considerable change at the venue, as Enterprise Center is undergoing the latest round of upgrades in a multi-phase renovation. When the current round of construction is complete, Enterprise Center will feature new premium and social spaces, along with a revamped concessions menu.
The name change was prompted by TD Ameritrade’s acquisition of Scottrade. It had at one point appeared that TD Ameritrade could place its name on the venue, but it was revealed last year that the company planned to sell back the naming rights after it acquired Scottrade.
Scotiabank Arena—Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors
The arena in downtown Toronto had been known as the Air Canada Centre since opening in 1999, but that has changed as the result of a 20-year agreement between Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) and Scotiabank. News of the deal first surfaced last summer, but the Scotiabank Arena name took effect on July 1 of this year.
As a result of the agreement, Scotiabank Arena will see several changes on its exterior that should allow its new branding to stand out. The deal is worth a reported $800 million.
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