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U.S. Cellular Field may get a name change next year

Nov 7, 2012, 12:30 PM EDT

U.S. Cellular Field

It may not happen for the 2013 season because the deal is not yet done, but the park formerly known as New Comiskey may be Sprint Field or something like it in time for 2014. Why? Because U.S. Cellular is selling some of its business units to Sprint/Nextel, and exiting the Chicago market:

There has been no word yet from U.S. Cellular or Sprint/Nextel on the future of the name of the stadium, but sources in the telecom industry told me this morning that they expect to see some or all of the U.S. Cellular phone stores gone from the market and a major push to further establish the Sprint/Nextel name in the Chicago area.

Also in the article, talk about why the Cubs don’t sell the naming rights for Wrigley Field. Which, though it would risk pissing off basically everyone with taste and good sense, would probably give the Ricketts family $15 million a year. Which is an INSANE amount of money compared to other naming rights deals, so take it with a grain of salt.

  1. geoknows - Nov 7, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Well, gee, it sure looks like there’s been word to me:

    “On a conference call with financial analysts, the company said the Sprint deal does not change naming rights on the home field for the White Sox, U.S. Cellular Field.

    “We have a long-term relationship with the White Sox,” said David Kimbell, chief marketing officer at U.S. Cellular. “Even after this transaction, we’re going to have 1,400 associates in Chicago so that relationship (with the White Sox) is not part of that deal and will not be changing.”

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-us-cellular-exiting-chicago-market-20121107,0,6960450.story?track=rss

  2. Francisco (FC) - Nov 7, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Why can’t ballparks have great baseball names anymore?

    • Detroit Michael - Nov 7, 2012 at 5:00 PM

      Because that doesn’t maximize revenue (although I think you knew that answer!)

      The thing that I don’t get is, just because a company pays the White Sox naming rights money, why everyone else wants to use the official name. Let the fans keep calling it “New Comiskey” regardless of what the official name is.

      • Francisco (FC) - Nov 7, 2012 at 6:13 PM

        It’s probably in the fine print about naming rights. What’s the point of buying naming rights if ESPN keeps calling it New Comiskey? And yes I already knew the answer. I just wanted to rant!

  3. kevinleaptrot - Nov 7, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    I’m sure that at some point the claimed that they were going to maintain a long term relationship with Chicago area cell phone customers as well. Seems pretty stupid from a business standpoint to have your corporate name on a stadium in a market in which you don’t offer service any more.

  4. Caught Looking - Nov 7, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    Isn’t Wrigley Field really already named for a corporate sponsor? $15MM worth of ‘free’ advertising is a lot of gum.

    • geoknows - Nov 7, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      Not really a “corporate sponsor” in the usual sense of the word; Wrigley pays no money. The Wrigley family owned the team many many moons ago (think early 20th century), and the family name was placed on the stadium. It remains today as tradition.

      • kopy - Nov 7, 2012 at 1:46 PM

        Exactly. No different than if “Curly” Lambeau owned another business.

  5. kkolchak - Nov 7, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    I’ve got an idea…how about “Comiskey Park?”

  6. jaysjunkie - Nov 7, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    God, I hate these stadiums changing names so often.

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