As noted late last night, a press conference was expected today to announce a naming rights deal to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, and as expected, the announcement came to pass.
The Texas Rangers have agreed to a 10-year naming rights deal with The Globe Life and Accident Insurance Company. Financial terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed, but, according to Joe Januszewski, the Rangers' executive vice president of business partnerships & development, it is among the best in baseball history.
Looking at the deals done, I'd put us in the top two of any ballpark in baseball.
If that statement is indeed true, it would slot the deal somewhere between the $21M per year for Citi Field in New York and the $7.4M per year for Minute Maid Park in Houston. The deal likely leans closer to the latter rather than the former, and in all honesty, I'd really expect it to be closer to the $5.3M per year for Target Field in Minnesota.
Rangers co-owner Ray Davis mentioned the obvious, that the deal will help with the long-term sustainability of the franchise, but more interestingly, he noted how the deal affects things in the short-term, specifically the here and now.
I think we already spent that [money].
So, if you were expecting the deal to spur another big-name signing, it might be time to pump the brakes. I'm not so sure that's a bad thing either.
While Globe Life Park doesn't exactly have a roll-off-the-tongue ring to it -- I fully expect most in the media to refer to it as The Globe -- the deal itself has likely already had short-term implications despite the fact that it likely won't lead to any more big expenditures this offseason.
It's been speculated for much of the offseason -- and really for several years for that matter -- that the organization might consider selling the naming rights in order to garner some extra cash flow. In the immediate aftermath of the Shin-Soo Choo signing, that speculation grew, as the deal was seen as an overpay by a franchise that has, in recent years, spurned the idea of overspending on the free agent market.
It could be that the Rangers already had several possible naming deals on the table at the time, thus giving Jon Daniels the freedom to go ahead and spend what was necessary to fill a position of need.
This will mark the second time that the ballpark has had a naming rights deal. The first was in 2004, during the Tom Hicks ownership era. At that time, the organization entered into a 30-year agreement with Ameriquest. The agreement only lasted three years as Ameriquest backed out in 2007 as the lending market crashed and predatory lending practices began to come to light.
Assuming this deal runs its course, its completion will coincide with the expiration of the lease on the ballpark. In looking at the Rangers Website, it seems that much of it has already been changed to reflect the new name, and the club also expects to have all signage at the park changed in time for the home opener against the Philadelphia Phillies on March 31.
While the new name isn't exactly exciting or catchy, the deal looks to give the organization even more financial flexibility moving forward, and in all actuality, may have helped move the Rangers in the direction of taking on some extra salary committments this offseason. How the team performs in 2014 remains to be seen, but at the very least, the Texas Rangers continue to show a committment to remaining competitive both in the long and short terms. As fans, I'm not sure we can really ask for too much more.