TD Ameritrade has become nearly as big a part of Omaha’s brand as college baseball.
One drive to north downtown shows why. So, too, do two weeks each year of ESPN broadcasts, when the name “TD Ameritrade Park” is televised across the country.
The financial services firm pledged $20.15 million over 20 years for naming rights to the 24,000-seat home of the NCAA College World Series.
But with the company name of TD Ameritrade thrown into question with a sale to Charles Schwab, Omaha’s Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority is left to wonder what that might mean for the ballpark’s name.
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MECA is the local entity that manages TD Ameritrade Park and the neighboring CHI Health Center. Officials say they have received no word that a name change is coming.
But MECA would be prepared from previous name changes to the CHI Health Center arena to go through the process at Omaha’s ballpark, spokeswoman Kristyna Engdahl said Thursday.
Just last year, MECA braced for a possible name change at CHI Health Center after Catholic Health Initiatives merged with Dignity Health, officials said. The change never came.
Changing the name of a $131 million ballpark might seem as simple as buying some new signs and slapping them on, but it’s a lot more complex than that, officials said.
In addition to scoreboards and signs, TD Ameritrade’s name is on thousands of items at the park, from trash cans and soap dispensers to uniforms and business cards.
Most, if not all, would need replacing for consistency and branding, officials said. The park would need to change its name on search engines, maps, even letterhead.
Officials said they were still rereading MECA’s contract with TD Ameritrade on Thursday to figure out who would pay what if the purchased company seeks a new stadium name.
The World-Herald requested a copy of the contract, but MECA shared a white paper that listed the contract’s terms.
MECA’s naming rights deals have historically put the onus on the companies it contracts with to pay for any subsequent changes in logo styles, naming and signage, officials said.
TD Ameritrade’s new owners, should they adopt a different name, would likely have to decide whether to spend what it would cost the company to replace named items in and around the ballpark.
Terms would have to be negotiated, officials said.