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Stadium Naming Fun

2010 April 21
by Dennis Coates

Lackawanna County stadium naming contract must be made public, state says

What a great headline!

Here is how the story begins:

A naming-rights agreement for the county-owned baseball stadium is public record and must be turned over to The Times-Tribune, the state Office of Open Records has ruled.

The price and terms of PNC Bank’s new contract for naming rights of the stadium remain secrets held by the management company for PNC Field and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, SWB Yankees LLC. The details of the agreement have not been shared with the authority that oversees the stadium or Lackawanna County commissioners.

So, to recap. The local government built a stadium and hired a management company to operate the facility. A contract was signed between PNC Bank and the management company giving the bank the right to name the stadium after itself. The local government, both in the guise of the Stadium Authority and the County Commissioners, have not been given the contract by the management company. Indeed, the local newspaper files the state equivalent of Freedom of Information Act papers to get the contract, the courts agreed, and still the management company refuses.

Apparently, the management company argues that operating the stadium is not a government function. This despite the government paying for stadium construction/renovation and employing the management company to operate it.

One Response
  1. Dan permalink
    April 22, 2010

    Maybe there is some big important trade secret involved. Or maybe PNC has some pictures they are holding over the management company.

    It would be too boring to have the management company just think they are outside the government sphere when they manage a government complex after being contracted by the government and getting paid from funds that would ordinarily go to the government.

    Or maybe some lawyer just wants to run up their fees after selling a client on a losing strategy.

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