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Retailer wins naming rights to soccer complex

Dick's Sporting Goods will be putting its moniker on Stan Kroenke's new soccer stadium in Commerce City.

By Andy Vuong

Denver Post Staff Writer

Article Last Updated:11/07/2006 09:23:54 PM MST

Dick's Sporting Goods, the Pittsburgh-based retailer, has scored the naming rights to Stan Kroenke's new soccer complex in Commerce City.

Kroenke is scheduled to announce specifics of the deal - including the name of the $130 million complex and financial terms - at a news conference today, said Brian Kitts, a spokesman for Kroenke Sports Enterprises.

SportsBusiness Daily reported that the deal is worth as much as $40 million for 20 years, which would make it one of the largest in Major League Soccer.

"That seems to be in the ballpark, from what I have seen in previous proposals," said Don Hinchey, vice president of communications for the Bonham Group.

Denver-based Bonham had been negotiating a naming-rights deal for the stadium but did not work on the Dick's deal because the retailer was brought to the table by MLS, Hinchey said.

Jeffrey Hennion, a spokesman for Dick's, declined to comment until today's news conference.

The 18,000-seat stadium will be home to soccer's Colorado Rapids and is slated to open in April.

The stadium will be surrounded by 24 practice fields available for youth sports such as lacrosse and soccer.

The complex is the centerpiece of a 917-acre development at East 56th Avenue and Quebec Street that will feature up to 1 million square feet of retail space and commercial space.

"It's a good deal for an MLS team," Denver-based sports- business expert Dave Smrek said of the naming-rights deal. "It makes all the sense in the world, knowing what's going to be happening out there with all of those fields."

Other companies that showed interest in the naming rights included Englewood-based Sports Authority and Safeway, Hinchey said.

Hinchey said the Dick's deal likely includes some "very attractive sweeteners" such as possible cross promotions with Kroenke's regional sports network, Altitude Sports & Entertainment.

It's also likely that Dick's will open a store at the planned retail development.

Dick's has seven stores in Colorado and is planning an eighth at Southwest Plaza.

Other soccer naming-rights deals announced this year include the Bank of Montreal's $24 million, 10-year deal with an expansion team in Toronto and Toyota's $7.5 million, 10-year deal with the Chicago Fire.

In 2003, Home Depot agreed to pay $70 million over 10 years for the naming rights to An schutz Entertainment Group's soccer stadium in Carson, Calif.

Coca-Cola has a 15-year deal with Kroenke to be the official nonalcoholic-beverage provider of the soccer stadium. No other sponsorship deals have been announced for the stadium.

In addition to the Rapids, Kroenke owns pro basketball's Denver Nuggets, pro hockey's Colorado Avalanche and the Pepsi Center.

Staff writer Andy Vuong can be reached at 303-954-1209 or avuong@denverpost.com.

Scoring soccer-stadium deals

Denver: Dick's Sporting Goods reportedly is paying $40 million over 20 years for the new Colorado Rapids facility in Commerce City.

Toronto: Bank of Montreal struck a $24 million, 10-year deal with an expansion team.

Chicago: Toyota has a $7.5 million, 10-year deal with the Fire.

Carson, Calif: Home Depot is paying $70 million over 10 years for the naming rights to An schutz Entertainment Group's soccer stadium.

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Dick's Sporting Goods Scores Naming Rights


COMMERCE CITY, Colo. ? The largest soccer sports complex in the world will be called Dick?s Sporting Goods Park when it opens in April, the complex?s owner and operator, Kroenke Sports Enterprises (KSE), announced today.

Dick?s Sporting Goods, Inc. (NYSE:DKS) has signed a 20-year naming rights agreement on the property which includes an 18,000-seat outdoor stadium and 24 full-sized outdoor fields. Dick?s Sporting Goods Park will be the home of the MLS Colorado Rapids.

?It takes a special partner to share a vision for what this sports park will be and Ed Stack and his team at Dick?s Sporting Goods have that vision,? said E. Stanley Kroenke, owner and president of KSE. ?Their commitment to the community and the growth of sports is a perfect match for what Dick?s Sporting Goods Park represents.?

While the amount of sponsorship was not disclosed, the duration of the sponsorship and the size of the project make it one of the largest stadium sponsorship deals in American soccer history. The deal includes naming rights, signage and logo identification not just in soccer-specific programs, but in all programming associated with the fields and any use of the stadium and fields including other sports teams, special events and concerts. The stadium is being pre-fitted for concert setups of up to 26,000 fans.

?We are thrilled today to be announcing our long-term commitment to this pinnacle project with our partners at Kroenke Sports,? said Jeffrey R. Hennion, Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer of Dick?s Sporting Goods. ?Dick?s Sporting Goods Park will be, we believe, the premier soccer facility in the U.S., bringing the game closer to a broad spectrum of fans of the game and players of all ages. As the largest full-line sporting goods retailer in the U.S., one of our primary goals is to support the communities in which we do business and the growth of youth sports within those communities. This world-class facility here in Denver, our ongoing relationship with Kroenke Sports, and our support of Major League Soccer, demonstrate the ultimate potential of how we can reach this goal, especially when we have such strong partners with similar vision.?

Dick?s Sporting Goods also becomes the exclusive retail sporting goods partner of the stadium, fields, Colorado Rapids, Colorado Youth Soccer and NDP Lacrosse. The sports park will serve as the official home of Colorado Youth Soccer and NDP Lacrosse. Additionally, Dick?s Sporting Goods will become an affiliate sponsor of a number of soccer and lacrosse tournaments to be held at the site annually.

Dick?s Sporting Goods Park serves as the anchor for the 917-acre Prairie Gateway site being developed in Commerce City, Colo. The Prairie Gateway project is a public-private partnership between Kroenke Sports and Commerce City. Also on the site will be a new Commerce City municipal hall, retail facilities, offices for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and a new visitors? center for the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge, which abuts the property.

Pittsburgh, Pa.-based Dick?s Sporting Goods, Inc. is an authentic full-line sporting goods retailer offering a broad assortment of brand name sporting goods equipment, apparel, and footwear in a specialty store environment. As of July 29, 2006 the company operated 268 stores in 34 states primarily throughout the eastern half of the U.S.

Denver-based KSE is the Rocky Mountain West?s premier provider of live and broadcast sports and entertainment. KSE owns and operates the NBA Denver Nuggets, NHL Colorado Avalanche, NLL Colorado Mammoth and MLS Colorado Rapids. KSE owns a number of Denver-area venues including the Pepsi Center arena, downtown Denver?s historic Paramount Theatre and CityLights Pavilion. The Altitude Sports & Entertainment regional sports network is owned by KSE as is the Opera Shop theatrical lighting and design group and Altitude Profit Consulting retail division. Kroenke Sports is also a partner in the AFL Colorado Crush.

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hehehe I can see it all now...

"Live from The Mile High Dick Pitch....."


"Showdown at the Big Dick"

...and people said Pink Taco Stadium would have been too rude...

True story: while living in Pennsylvania a neighbor of my best friend opened up his own convenience store, "Dick's Drive-Up Convenience Store." He was looking for a way to promote the fact that he sold food along with gas and what-not, among his items being 1/2 pound and 1/4 pound hot dogs.

So my friend and I advised him to call the dogs "Big Dicks" (for the 1/2 pound variety) and "Little Dicks" (1/4). I worked up a radio ad that had lines including "Wrap your hands around a Big Dick," and a woman seductively stating, "Oooh, baby, its so BIG!" and "Let me have that meat, baby!"

The guy had people lined up out the door for months, just to try the hot dogs.

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