“Bayfront Stadium,” “Blue Wahoo Stadium,” “Community Maritime Park” – the home of baseball’s Pensacola Blue Wahoos goes by many names, but by next season it may have just one – for a price.
Ed Spears, the Executive Director of Community Maritime Park Associates, say that work is underway to sell the naming rights to the ballpark in downtown Pensacola, for a large chunk of change – between $250,000 and $500,000.
Efforts had been underway in-house to sell the park’s naming rights since the Blue Wahoo began play two years ago. At the urging of team owner Quint Studer, they’re now seeking an outside broker to come in and conduct its own search.
“The team the primary responsible party is doing that there, and nothing came to pass” said Spears. “There were several opportunities that were explored, and so now we’re going to broaden our market, so to speak, and bring in a professional.”
Under the 2011 use agreement between the Blue Wahoos and the city, the team has exclusive power to market and sell the naming rights. Proceeds would be to split equal between the CMPA Board and the Wahoos’ parent firm, Northwest Florida Professional Baseball. And the eventual proposed name are then require approval by the board.
Spears says there are actually two major specific naming opportunities – the stadium itself and the field.
“For example, when you go to Florida State University you would visit Bobby Bowden Field at Doak-Campbell Stadium,” said Spears.
And this goes beyond putting a name on bricks and mortar and dirt and grass. Whomever gets the contract from the CMPA board would also be expected to come up with a list of products to be sponsored at the facility – from the signage and seats in the pack, to the letterhead used by the front office.
The deadline for brokers to submit their proposals to the Community Maritime Park Associates is August 25 at 2:00 p.m.
The Blue Wahoos’ parent club Cincinnati Reds are not be involved with the renaming project, because they do not own Bayfront Stadium. Great American Insurance Group bought the naming rights for the Reds’ home field -- Great American Ballpark -- for $75 million over 30 years when it replaced Riverfront Stadium in 2003.