Washington’s Verizon Center Renamed Capital One Arena, Effective Immediately
Verizon Center name change news
Monumental Sports and Entertainment — which owns the city’s NBA and NHL teams along with the 20,000-seat downtown venue — made the change official on Wednesday.
McLean, Virginia-based credit card and banking giant Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE: COF) will now be the official naming rights sponsor for the arena.
— NBCWashington (@nbcwashington) August 9, 2017
Complete financial details for the naming rights agreement were not released, although the deal is worth around $100 million over ten years, according to a source familiar with negotiations who confirmed a Bloomberg report. This is believed to be a significant increase over what Monumental received per year from its previous pact.
To put that in perspective, Barclays reportedly pays $10 million a year for naming rights to the home of the Brooklyn Nets, TD Garden a reported $6 million a year in Boston, and Prudential more than $5 million a yearin Newark. Golden 1 Credit Union is paying a reported $6 million a year for the naming rights in Sacramento, while JPMorgan Chase signed a 20-year naming rights deal for the yet-to-be-opened Golden State Warriors arena worth a reported $15 million a year.
The previous 20-year naming rights agreement for Verizon Center was scheduled to expire in 2018, but Capital One’s involvement hastened the timing. Monumental tapped London-based international sports agency MP & Silva in March 2016 to sell the naming rights as part of that deal.
Verizon originally opened as the MCI Center in the winter of 1997, and has significantly helped revitalize Washington’s East End. The arena was renamed Verizon Center in 2006.
Monumental is also set to announce a distinct $40 million investment in the privately owned venue, with the funds going toward projects such as Monumental360 — a data-based effort to assess fan preferences — and a new point-of sale system, designed to provide more efficient lines.
The company’s founder, owner and CEO Ted Leonsis — who purchased Verizon Center in 2010 — has been seeking a new naming rights deal for more than two years. Leonesis told The Washington Post last year that the mortgage costs about $36 million a year, and that he has “the worst building deal in professional sports.”
Capital One has already served as an important sponsor for the Wizards and Capitals. Besides hosting those two teams’ games, the Verizon Center is also home to Leonsis’s new Arena Football League team and Georgetown basketball. The WNBA’s Mystics have long played there too but are set to move to a new arena in Southeast in 2018.
“Capital One is one of the most influential local businesses in our region over the last two decades, so we couldn’t be more pleased to partner with another homegrown company to create more incredible memories for sports fans, music fans, families and friends all across our region,” Leonsis said.
“Capital One Arena is one of the few privately owned arenas in the country, and throughout its ownership, MSE has made over $100 million in investments to ensure the arena remains a best-in-class facility,” Leonis added in a blog post Wednesday. “I’m pleased to say we are making a further down payment on that commitment with this announcement today.”
WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 01: The exterior of the Verizon Center before the start of the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins game on December 1, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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