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49ers new stadium: Naming rights could be close

The San Francisco 49ers are reportedly closing in on a naming rights deal for their new stadium. We take a look at the options, and what this means as the stadium project moves forward.

A view of the 49ers new stadium's suite tower
A view of the 49ers new stadium's suite tower

CSN Bay Area's Andy Dolich indicated earlier this week that the 49ers could be closing in on a naming rights partner for their new Santa Clara stadium. Dolich speculated about "word on the sponsorship street", and if anybody can rightfully speculate on this topic, it's Dolich. A one-time COO for the 49ers, Dolich has an incredibly extensive background in the world of sports business. If anybody outside the 49ers knows what is up with the naming rights deal, it would be Dolich.

According to Dolich, there are three companies competing for the naming rights, and a long-term deal would likely end up around $12-14 million per year. Dolich did not mention any companies, but did speculate on some industries, including banking insurance and automotive. In case you forgot, a few weeks ago we discussed why Levi Strauss could make sense as a potential naming rights partner.

A vast majority of the construction cost is being paid through loans totaling $850 million. As Dolich pointed out, the team will be paying these loans through a variety of financial streams including naming rights, stadium builders' licenses (what some would call PSLs), premium seating and founding partnerships.

The team is making great financial progress, thanks in part to the strong performance of the team the last two seasons. The team was planning the stadium before the team improved, but a pair of playoff campaigns have done a great job for sales. As of a month ago, the team had reportedly sold 75% of stadium builders' licenses for the entire stadium. With 17 months until the stadium opens for preseason action, that's pretty impressive.