The Igloo will remain a Mellon -- for now
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It came in 47 years ago as the Civic Auditorium, is affectionately known as the Igloo, and will go out as a Mellon.
BNY Mellon has reached agreement with the Penguins to extend its naming rights deal to Mellon Arena by one year. It assures that the Igloo, in its final year of existence before the team moves into its new home, will bear the Mellon name.
That is the designation it has carried, at least officially, since 1999, when the former Mellon Financial Corp., which merged with The Bank of New York last year, reached a 10-year deal with the team to affix its name to the Civic Arena.
The extension was needed because the existing deal expires after the 2008-2009 season and the new arena won't open until the 2010-2011 season.
"We have signed an agreement to extend the naming rights until the Penguins take full occupancy of their new facility," BNY Mellon spokesman Ron Gruendl said.
Neither BNY Mellon nor the Penguins would disclose the terms of the extension. The original 10-year naming rights deal worked out to about $1.8 million a year.
Marc Ganis, president of Sportscorp Ltd., a Chicago sports business consultant, said the extension probably is similar "with a nice kicker because of how well the team did this year" when it made it to the Stanley Cup finals.
The extension sets the stage for what is expected to be keen bidding for the rights to the new arena.
Mr. Ganis said a new deal could range anywhere from $3 million a year to $8 million a year. He said the team's performance this past year could be a "very, very significant factor" in what the Penguins can command for naming rights.
"Now you've got a team that gets national and, to a degree, international exposure because of how well it plays and the stars it has," he said.
In recent deals, Prudential agreed to pay more than $5 million a year for the naming rights to the New Jersey Devils' new arena. The New York Mets sold the rights to their new ballpark to Citigroup for about $20 million a year.
BNY Mellon has the right of first refusal to the naming rights to the new arena, a byproduct of its 10-year agreement.
Mr. Gruendl said the firm has "held private discussions" with the Penguins about those rights but had little else to say about the subject.
First Published June 20, 2008 12:00 am