Tacoma officials will relaunch their search for a company to help them explore selling naming rights to the Tacoma Dome.
The reason? The first round of proposals submitted to the city would have cost too much money, according to the city’s evaluation of the submissions.
The city put out a request in June seeking “services for marketing, sale of naming rights, advertising and sponsorship” for both the Tacoma Dome and the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center.
Two replies came in, but “neither proposal received was feasible within current available budget parameters,” wrote Kim Bedier, Tacoma’s director of public assembly facilities, in an Aug. 23 letter announcing the city’s rejection of the proposals.
One plan, from Texas-based Legends Sales and Marketing, which is part-owned by the Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees, according to its website, would have charged the city a $35,000 one-time fee plus $7,500 per month for a minimum yearlong contract.
The other proposal, from the Superlative Group of Cincinnati, would have charged the city $7,500 per month for 18 months, while billing the city for the company’s expenses.
Both plans also would have taken a cut of the revenue from sales of the naming rights, as well as from advertising and sponsorships.
“At the end of the day, we felt the pricing model of neither of them really worked for us,” Bedier said. “Even the one that looks less costly was somewhat open-ended, which concerned us.”
Now the city is planning to issue a pared-down request for proposals that doesn’t ask companies to actually carry out the sales and marketing of the naming rights. The new inquiry will only ask companies to evaluate what resources the city has to sell, and how much officials could get in return, Bedier said.
That’s closer to what the city was hoping to get when it solicited proposals back in June, Tacoma City Manager T.C. Broadnax said last week.
“We were wanting someone to lay out what the feasibility was,” Broadnax said.
The city will seek more proposals in September, and decide on a company to look at naming options in October, Bedier said.
After that, the city could choose a different company to actually carry out the sales of sponsorships and naming rights, or choose to not move forward with the idea at all, she said.
If the city does decide to sell the Tacoma Dome’s naming rights, officials would want a deal signed by the end of the year, Bedier said. That way, the city could use the revenue from the naming rights and sponsorships in its 2014 facilities budget.
Money from selling the naming rights would help fund repairs and updates at city-owned event facilities, Bedier said.