RingCentral 'agrees $3m Oakland Coliseum naming rights deal'
The Oakland Coliseum, home of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders and MLB’s Oakland A's, is set for another name change after RingCentral, the cloud-based communications provider, agreed a naming rights deal.
Under a three-year deal, worth $1 million annually and includes the option of a fourth year, the stadium will be renamed the RingCentral Coliseum, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
This marks the fifth name change for the stadium in 21 years.
Scott McKibben, Coliseum Authority executive director, told the newspaper: “We have a contract that we are finalising right now. The lawyers are tying up last-minute loose ends, but the goal is to bring it to the authority for a vote Friday.”
If approved, the name change would take effect immediately.
RingCentral will replace Overstock.com, the US online retailer and previous naming rights holder, which decided to pull out of its $1.45 million-per-year deal with the Coliseum a year early after the Raiders announced plans in 2016 to relocate the team from Oakland in California to Las Vegas in Nevada.
Overstock.com signed a six-year, $7.2 million deal in 2011.
The stadium returned to its original name as Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum over the past three years.
RingCentral’s reduced $1 million-per-year deal was negotiated on the basis that only the A's would be playing in the stadium.
However, the Raiders have signed an extended lease agreement to continue playing in the stadium for the 2019-20 NFL season, with an option to play there in 2020 if the team’s new home in Vegas is not ready in time for the 2020-21 campaign.
The Coliseum is the only remaining stadium in the US serving as a home to both an NFL and MLB team.
RingCentral’s deal comes as the A's are also working on building a new, 35,000-seater stadium in the Bay Area, although they still need to secure land and receive state and city council approval.
However, the team did receive approval from the Port of Oakland commissioners to begin the process of building a stadium, with the A’s given four years to produce an environmental impact report for their preferred building site.
The team is hoping to have a new stadium built by 2023.
Meanwhile, Major League Baseball has ruled that the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, a regional television broadcaster, owes the Washington Nationals almost $100 million in the latest development in a dispute with the Baltimore Orioles over TV rights fees.
A three-member panel of MLB’s Revenue Sharing Definitions Committee concluded that MASN owes the Nationals an annual sum of $59 million in TV rights fees for the period from 2012 to 2016, which is $20 million more per year than the network has paid the team, according to court filings that were made public this week.
MASN is owned by both the Nationals and Orioles, with the latter owning a controlling stake of 80 per cent.
In 2015, following an appeal by the Orioles, a New York State Supreme Court judge overturned the decision of an MLB arbitration committee to set an increased price for the rights to games of the Nationals shown by MASN.
The Orioles, which also have their games shown on the network, had challenged the outcome on the basis that law firm Proskauer Rose represented the Nationals, MLB and all three teams represented on the arbitration panel, namely the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Mets.
As a result of that ruling, the Nationals had only been receiving $40 million per year from MASN, instead of the approximately $60 million they were entitled to in the deal for 2012 to 2016 approved by the panel in June 2014.
The dispute dates back to 2012 when the Orioles and the Nationals were unable to agree on the value of the rights to the latter’s games, with the result that the case went before the arbitration panel.
MLB has now ruled that the Nationals are owed the entire sum which was negotiated in the original rights deal, worth $296.8 million.
The Orioles have stated they intend to also appeal this latest decision by MLB.