The Atlanta Falcons declined to comment this morning on a report that Mercedes-Benz will acquire the naming rights to the team’s new downtown stadium.
According to Sports Business Journal, the German luxury automaker is expected to sign a contract today to put its name on the $1.4 billion retractable-roof stadium slated to open in 2017.
“We have no comment on the report,” Falcons spokeswoman Kim Shreckengost said.
A Mercedes-Benz spokeswoman neither confirmed nor denied the report in declining to comment.
An announcement is expected Monday at the stadium construction site next to the Georgia Dome.
The Falcons have been shopping the naming rights to the retractable-roof stadium since last year. Team officials have said they expected the name to fetch in the upper range of such deals in the NFL.
The largest NFL naming rights deals are the New York Giants’ and Jets’ agreement with MetLife for a reported $17 million to $20 million per year on their shared stadium and the Dallas Cowboys’ deal with AT&T for a reported $17 million to $19 million per year.
Under terms of the Falcons’ stadium deal with the city of Atlanta and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, the team controls the sale of naming rights and retains the revenue received. Neither government entity has approval rights over the naming-rights deal.
Mercedes-Benz announced plans in January to move its U.S. headquarters from New Jersey to metro Atlanta. The company is temporarily housed in an office park in Dunwoody. It plans to build a new headquarters campus in Sandy Springs at Georgia 400 and Abernathy Road.
Having the Mercedes-Benz name on the Falcons stadium could create an odd situation within the NFC South, because the New Orleans Saints, the Falcons’ division rival, already have the automaker’s name on their stadium: the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Mercedes-Benz became the title sponsor of the Superdome in 2011 by signing a reported 10-year contract.
Please check back for updates.
Staff writer J. Scott Trubey contributed to this article.
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