Deal is at least 10 years

Updated: June 24, 2004, 9:28 PM ET
Associated Press

SEATTLE -- The state Public Stadium Authority has approved a proposal to rename Seahawks Stadium "Qwest Field."

Denver-based Qwest Communications International will pay $45 million for naming rights during the first 10 years of the deal. The telecommunications company will pay an additional $30 million -- a total of $75 million -- if it opts to extend the arrangement for five more years.

Under a 15-year deal, $32 million of the total would be provided to the stadium authority for maintenance and modernization of the stadium and an attached exhibition hall, the authority said in a news release.

If the deal ends after 10 years, about $19 million will be provided for maintenance. The money will be distributed annually.

The authority said it spent weeks reviewing the renaming agreement between Qwest Communications International and First & Goal, which operates the team and the stadium.

The agreement is "a good deal for the citizens of Washington state," said the agency's board chairwoman, Lorraine Hine.

"The funds raised by selling the naming rights help to ensure the stadium and exhibition center will remain in first-class condition for years to come," Hine said.

The adjoining exhibition hall will be called "Qwest Events Center."

In a news release, the agency said its analysis determined the agreement compares favorably with other NFL naming-rights deals.

Naming rights for Safeco Field, the neighboring Seattle Mariners baseball stadium, were sold for $40 million to Seattle-based Safeco Insurance Co., in a 20-year deal.

Qwest also will become the telecommunications provider for Qwest Field, all other Seahawks facilities and First & Goal.

The stadium cost $460 million, $300 million provided by the state and $160 million by Seahawks owner Paul Allen. Allen now finances the facility's maintenance and modernization fund.

The Seahawks are coming off a 10-6 season in which they made the playoffs for the first time since the 1999 season.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press