CFG Bank has acquired naming rights to the revamped Baltimore Arena, which is scheduled to open in February 2023.
CFG Bank, which is headquartered in Baltimore, agreed the multi-year deal with Oak View Group, which is overseeing the project. As part of the deal, the venue will officially be known as CFG Bank Arena.
The agreement also includes prominent exterior and interior signage, exclusive benefits for CFG Bank clients, cardholders and team members, and the launch of a new community engagement programme.
Financial terms of the deal, which is the first stadium or arena sponsorship for CFG Bank, were not disclosed. The deal was announced the day following the 60th anniversary of the original arena’s opening on October 23, 1962.
OVG commenced work on the $200m (£177m/€203m) redevelopment of Baltimore Arena back in June, as US rapper and record producer Pharrell Williams signed on as the latest partner of the project. The project aims to transform the city-owned arena into a new multi-purpose, state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue.
Bill Wiedel, CFG Bank chief executive and president, said: “We’re thrilled to partner with Oak View Group and secure the naming rights for Baltimore Arena, now CFG Bank Arena. We are so much more than a traditional bank and this partnership is a great example of our entrepreneurial approach and how we do things differently to make change happen for the better.
“We have grown tremendously over the years, and CFG Bank Arena reinforces our commitment to Baltimore and our leadership position in the banking industry. We look forward to continuing to support the growth of Baltimore through the excitement and benefits CFG Bank Arena will bring to our community and our clients.”
Tim Leiweke, chairman and chief executive of OVG and leader of the arena project, added: “CFG Bank has had a long-standing presence in the Baltimore area for nearly 100 years, and we are pleased to have them on board as our naming-rights partner.
“CFG Bank understands our vision for the project and recognises the economic need for a modern world-class arena. CFG Bank Arena will be a major destination for the biggest shows and be life-changing for the entire community.”
Once fully renovated into its new 14,000-capacity guise, the arena will serve as a key anchor on the west side of downtown Baltimore and help drive further investment and development in the area. Fundamental Advisors and Thirty Five Ventures (35V), a company co-founded by NBA star Kevin Durant and businessman Rich Kleiman, are also involved in the project.
As part of the planned renovations, OVG, Fundamental Advisors and 35V will fully fund the cost of the arena’s total reconstruction through a combination of private debt and equity, which in aggregate is estimated to $200m, up from the previously reported $150m. In return, they will lease the building for the next 30 years through an entity called Baltimore Arena Co.
Renovations include the removal of the permanent stage, adding seats and suites, refurbishing concourses, upgrading concessions areas, and changing the building’s appearance. Additional upgrades to the facility will include focuses on sustainability such as using locally sourced materials, LED lighting, low flow and waterless fixtures, and more.
World-class acoustics will be introduced to amplify the audio experience; along with next-generation touchless and self-serve technologies for food & beverage and merchandise purchases. Renovations will be made to the venue’s back of house, while the arena’s telecommunications infrastructure, wireless network, and video/network/security systems will be upgraded.