At least that's the media's version. From correspondent Nick Ebinger:
On SI.com, the otherwise estimable Peter King writes that teams are selling stadium naming rights because "player salaries demand it."
Questionable use of the word "demand," no?
Quite right, Nick.
Payments for naming rights are a windfall. Step in an owner's shoes and ask yourself the question: "would I turn down $20 million for naming rights to my stadium?" You might, if it pissed off enough fans to hear the name of, say, Mr. Wrigley's field changed to, oh, Pepsi Park. They might watch fewer games and be willing to pay less for tickets. If the value of those effects surpassed the $20 million you'd capture by switching the name from chewing gum field to pop park, then you'd say no thanks to Pepsi. But what you pay Mark Prior has nothing to do with it.