TD Ameritrade Park has a sweet $20 million ring to it.
The Omaha-based online brokerage firm has reached an agreement to acquire the naming rights for the city's new downtown ballpark, Roger Dixon, president of the Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority, said Monday.
Under the agreement, TD Ameritrade will pay an average of about $1 million a year over 20 years for the naming rights, Dixon said. However, in the first years, payments will start around $750, 000 and go up from there.
"We're very excited," Dixon said. "In today's tough economic times, it's great that we have a local company like TD Ameritrade stepping up."
TD Ameritrade representatives declined to comment Monday. Joe Moglia, chairman of TD Ameritrade, told The World-Herald in June of last year that he hoped to gain the naming rights for the ballpark.
The firm, started in Omaha more than 30 years ago by Joe Ricketts, has since expanded into an international financial services operation with about 2,000 employees in the Omaha area. The Ricketts family no longer holds a controlling stake in the company.
The city is counting on revenues from the naming rights to help pay for the stadium's construction.
The $20 million that will be raised nearly matches an estimate prepared for city and MECA officials. That estimate was included in a February 2008 financial study of the stadium.
As the new home of the College World Series, the ballpark's naming rights are viewed as more valuable than stadiums built for a minor league team.
Applebee's Park in Lexington, Ky., generates $200,000 minimum a year from naming rights. It also earns bonuses based on game attendance. That ballpark is owned by Omaha Royals President Alan Stein, whose team plans to move from Rosenblatt Stadium to a new, smaller stadium in Sarpy County in two years.
TD Ameritrade Park will generate more revenue from naming rights than its neighbor, the Qwest Center Omaha.
Qwest paid $14 million to get the rights to the convention center and arena property for 15 years.
The $128 million, 24,000-seat ballpark at 14th and Webster Streets will host the CWS for the first time in 2011.
The downtown ballpark will replace Rosenblatt, which has been home to the CWS since 1950.
The naming rights negotiations were between the city, MECA and TD Ameritrade. The NCAA was not directly involved. But, Dixon said, the NCAA is interested in talking with the company about a corporate sponsorship.
MECA and TD Ameritrade will announce more details of the agreement at a press conference Wednesday morning.
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