Syracuse University has finally extricated itself from one of the worst stadium naming rights agreements ever made. As bad as it was, the question is whether it was worse than the current Colorado Rockies’ deal.
The sports business publication Sportico reported, “Syracuse University’s iconic Carrier Dome is no more. The school has reached a settlement with Carrier Global Corp. to end the company’s perpetual naming rights deal for the football and basketball venue. … Thus ends one of the longest running and most sponsor-friendly naming rights agreements in sports history. Carrier gave the school a $2.75 million gift back in 1979 during construction of the building, securing naming rights for the lifetime of the venue. Forty-three years later, the Carrier Dome is among the most recognizable buildings in college basketball and college football. … The dome would likely command upwards of $3.25 million per year on the open market.”
Meanwhile, Denverites may recall that Coors got a sweetheart deal when it received the permanent naming rights to the Rockies’ stadium when it invested $30 million in the ownership group back in 1991. Coors later sold that ownership stake in 2013 for an estimated $75 million, but that transaction did not affect the naming rights agreement. So, Coors actually made $45 million “buying” the permanent naming rights to Coors Field.
My back-of-the-envelope calculations say that Syracuse left about $45-50 million on the table with its deal, while the Rockies have missed out on about $35 million. However, Syracuse’s deal has now expired while the Rockies’ continues. With naming rights valued at about $4 million per year (the Pepsi Center’s deal is for $3.4 million annually while Empower Field is $6 million per year), the Rockies will officially become the worse deal in 2025.