Parkview Letter of Intent

Parkview Field - courtesy image.

Today, the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission met to approve several Harrison Square agreements.  The first of these documents was the Letter of Intent for the ballpark to be named Parkview Field.  Let me say that I was pleasantly surprised at receiving my own copy after the meeting.  I really wasn’t going to ask because the LOI is still in it’s draft form.  My experience has shown that lately Redevelopment usually doesn’t release documents until they’ve been finalized and signed.  But, I’m not going to looka gift horse in the mouth.

The Letter of Intent may be downloaded by clicking here.

The term of the agreement will extend for 10 years with Parkview having the right to extend the agreement for another 5 years.  Nothing is stated about an increase in the $300,000/year fee.  If Parkview Field becomes extremely popular, the value of the naming rights value would increase while it’s cost to Parkview doesn’t.  But, the opposite is true as well.  If the ballpark flops, the value decreases, but Parkview is stuck paying an overinflated cost.  Christopher Guerin, Redevelopment Commission President, raised the point that an option to renew at the ten year point without adjusting the cost could prove to be an even bigger deal for Parkview.  He asked that this be considered for the final draft.

The City and Team will be responsible for:

  1. The ballpark will be known as Parkview Field (or other name agreed to by all parties)
  2. A custom Parkview Field logo will be developed
  3. The name and logo of the ballpark will be displayed on Directional signage into and leading to downtown Fort Wayne, printed tickets, pocket schedules and team marketing materials, directional signage inside the facility and the videoboard structure.
  4. Team will designate Parkview Health as “The Official Hospital” of the team
  5. Team will not allow advertising by any other area hospital within the ballpark or allow any of the other hospitals to use the Team name or marks.
  6. The team will work with Parkview to develop a “welcome video” to be played on the ballpark video board and any closed-circuit television and or internet feed inside the ballpark prior to each Team game.
  7. Team shall agree to create a “Taste For Living” items otherwise known as “healthy food options” and to offer these items at Team games and other stadium events.  Items will be identified on menu boards with a logo or icon agreeable to Parkview.
  8. The team will provide an on-site area for first aid which Parkview will deliver during games and other major ballpark events.  [I would also wonder what the “major ballpark events” would include.  Remember, the City is able to schedule events during the year, would these be included in?]
  9. Parkview can lease the ballpark at one-half of the rate offered to the community in general.
  10. Parkview may post and distribute promotional materials in and at the stadium.
  11. Parkview will also have a representative on the Board of Advisors.

In addition, $300,000 is payable on each April 1st during the contract.  Half ($150,000) will go to the Redevelopment Commission which agrees to deposit the funds directly into the Capital Maintenance and Improvement Fund.  The other half will be payable to Hardball Capital.

There is also this interesting paragraph:

At a place that is mutually agreeable between the parties, the Team and Naming Rights Partner (Parkview Health) shall work together to find and create other opportunities for Naming Rights Sponsor to provide health and wellness-related education and services at the Ballpark from the FIrst Aid services location and, upon request a temporary kiosk in the Stadium for health screenings and education, for the term of this Agreement.

It ends with a statement that the agreement is subject to review and approval of the Redevelopment Commission and Minor League Baseball.

Other discussion by the Commission members included Christopher Guerin asking that a Redevelopment Commission member be allowed to serve on the Board of Advisors for the ballpark, even as an “ad hoc” member.  He feels this is needed, even though the Redevelopment Commission has final say over actions proscribed by the Board of Advisors.  The current make-up of the board as prsocribed in the Stadium Management Agreement with Hardball Capital states that members will be drawn from:

(a) One appointee by Hardball Capital
(b) Fort Wayne Allen County Convention and Tourism Authority (Grand Wayne Center Board) President or Grand Wayne Center Board designee;
(c) Downtown Improvement District Chair or DID Board designee;
(d) Controller or Chief Financial Officer of the City of Fort Wayne; and
(e) Convention and Visitors Bureau Chair, or CVB Board designee.
– Stadium Management Agreement; Section 1.2 on page 3.

John Wernet, Redevelopment Commission Attorney, responded he would check into this.

There are other possible naming right deals to be garnered from the ballpark, including the kid’s playground.

Talk turned to how the process of arriving at Parkview Health evolved.  A committee consisting of Steve Brody (Consultant to the City), former Deputy Mayor Mark Becker and Tim Hafner created a list of 10 businesses in Fort Wayne they thought would be interested in naming the ballpark.  The 10 were most likely, in the committee’s mind, to have this type of marketing need and a high enough profile to make it worth their while.  Proposals were then made to all 10, however not all 10 expressed interest.  After negotiations progressed, the list was narrowed down to 2, but a third company expressed interest at the last minute.  Redevelopment Commission Attorney John Wernet stated that the amounts were equal, with the decision being made by what Parkview could bring to the table.  This contract did not need to have open bidding.

There were questions if $300,000 was the most that could be secured for the deal, but Leatherman responded that considerable time had been put into trying to discover the details of other naming deals.

[…] Are we too high, too low?  A year ago, we came away with the realization that we should be in this territory.  It was important to achieve that so that 1) to satisfy the need for revenue, but 2) to be in the right position in terms of the pecking order as far as naming rights deals that have been done recently.

The Letter of Intent Resolution was passed unanimously.  There were three other agreements related to Harrison Square that were also approved.  More on those in a day or two.

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