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Ted Leonsis wants more than new name on arena

August 6th, 2017 at 3:04 PM
By Sports Media 101


So what’s in Ted Leonsis‘ wallet?

Apparently, not enough â?? at least not as much as he had hoped.

His renaming plan for the Verizon Center fell short, according to sources.

Leonsis had hoped for a big payday for the international naming rights for his arena, the Verizon Center, going so far as to hiring a company to secure those rights. That search failed to find someone willing to pay the freight.

Apparently, the international business community, like Leonsis, isn’t crazy about the 20-year-old Verizon Center.

They dropped that effort, and instead went to someone in the family for help â??Capital One, already a corporate sponsor for the Washington Wizards and Capitals, and whose chairman, Richard Fairbank, is a partner in Leonsis‘ Monumental Sports.

The new deal will put money in Leonsis‘ pocket â?? he got none of the Verizon signing money, which was paid out to the late owner, Abe Pollin, at the beginning of the deal, when it was the MCI Center. But this was not what Leonsis hoped for. Compare it to trying to sign Al Horford and settling for, well, not Ian Mahinmi exactly, but not the free agent you wanted.

The naming rights deal, along with Leonsis‘ check from CSN-Mid Atlantic as a result of the partnership deal made last year that gives him one-third of the network, should be enough to cover his high-priced payroll payments from the Otto Porter four-year, $107 million contract and the John Wall four-year, $170 million contract extension Leonsis handed out recently.

He needs all the money he can get.


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