08:56 PM PDT on Friday, September 24, 2010
By CHRIS H. SIEROTY
Special to The Press-Enterprise
Now that the minor-league baseball season is over, discussions have begun over whether Arrowhead Credit Union Park in downtown San Bernardino might get a new name, since its title sponsor was seized by the National Credit Union Administration in June.
Dave Elmore, owner and president of the Inland Empire 66ers — the Californian League team that the stadium is home to — said in a phone interview that he met Wednesday with credit union officials to discuss the remaining year in the 10-year naming-rights contract.
“We don’t know for sure yet if they’ll continue their sponsorship,” Elmore said. “We are talking to them and are getting closer. We should know in about another week.”
Prior to the 2002 season, the 66ers and the city of San Bernardino, which owns the stadium, signed a 10-year stadium naming-rights deal with Arrowhead Credit Union. Messages and e-mails left with Elsa Montes, a spokeswoman for the credit union, were not returned.
“(The National Credit Union Administration), in its capacity as conservator of Arrowhead Credit Union, is evaluating a wide-range of business options related to the management of the credit union, and is not commenting on specific opportunities under consideration at this point,” agency spokesman John McKechnie said in an e-mail.
The naming-rights deal for the stadium was worth about $100,000 annually, according to Kevin Shaw, vice president of marketing for the 66ers.
“They are caught up (with their payment) for this fiscal year,” Shaw said. The fiscal year ends Sept. 30.
Both Elmore and Shaw declined to discuss potential replacements should Arrowhead decide to back out of the contract.
Heather Gray, manager of communications for San Bernardino, said the city has not had any discussions over the stadium’s naming rights. She said the city receives $25,000 annually from the naming-rights contract.
Gray said the team also pays San Bernardino $50,000 in base rent annually, along with 6 percent of the gross revenues between $1 million and $1.2 million, 8 percent of the gross revenues from $1.2 million to $1.5 million or 10 percent of the gross revenues exceeding $1.5 million. The city also receives revenue from parking, concessions and services it provides to operate the facility, including electricity.