The Washington Redskins shot down a potential naming sponsor for the park at the team’s new training camp, according to the Richmond Economic Development Authority, which developed the site on behalf of the city.
The terraced park area was a late addition to the camp and responsible for a surprise $1 million cost overrun to the project, which was expected to cost $10 million.
When Style Weekly first reported the increased cost in May, the authority said it would sell naming rights to the area to cover the difference.
But at its meeting last month, board member Anne Greever reported that after lining up a sponsorship deal that had been considered “clear sailing,” the Redskins nixed it because the team viewed the potential sponsor as a competitor to an existing national sponsor.
The Redskins’ contract with the authority gives the team the authority to make the final decision on local sponsorship deals that would help the city recoup the cost of building the training camp.
“They had a fish on the hook,” Greever said. “They had gotten a sponsor lined up but didn’t realize about the contractual conflict and now they’re back to square one.”
Greever declined to name the potential sponsor, saying the sale was being handled by SMG, a multinational venue-management company under contract to operate the camp.
Through a spokeswoman, SMG’s regional manager, Dolly Vogt, declined to cite an asking price for the naming rights. “There is not just one deal or one price presented at this time,” she said in a statement.
She also disputed the notion that a deal had been lost. “There are several proposals for the park naming rights that have been pitched,” Vogt said.
But asked whether the report presented by the authority was inaccurate, she declined to comment through a spokeswoman. The Redskins didn’t respond to an email requesting comment.
Greever couldn’t be reached for further comment, but said during the authority meeting that SMG has other prospects and “they’re working hard on it.”
At the same meeting, authority board member Richard Johnson reported that it has yet to find a tenant for office space it built at the camp. The authority planned to use proceeds from future rent to help repay the city the $10 million it loaned to finance the project.