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June 23, 2010

In Philadelphia, naming rights for transit station near sports facilities is worth three times more (per year) than MTA/FCR deal for Brooklyn's hub

Atlantic Yard Report

While the bumbling MTA cuts subway, bus and train service while even-more-inept Albany "legislators" feign concern, Philadelphia's transit agency is cutting a deal that will bring it three times the amount the MTA secured in giving away selling Atlantic/Pacific Station naming rights to Barclays and Bruce Ratner.

Here's some more evidence that Forest City Ratner (on behalf of Barclays) got a very nice deal from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on naming rights for the Atlantic Avenue/Pacific Street station.

For a similar deal in Philadelphia, the local transit authority is about to get three times as much: $600,000 a year, vs. $200,000 a year.

(The deal must be approved tomorrow. Here's a tough editorial from the Philadelphia Daily News warning that "taking corporate money in this way leads to less, not more, public commitment to the so-called social contract.")

The deals aren't directly comparable. In Philadelphia, the AT&T Station deal with SEPTA lasts only five years, worth $3 million, while the deal with the MTA is $4 million over 20 years.

MTA opacity

How did the MTA set a price? The agency's then-CFO Gary Dellaverson had said, "We've never successfully completed a naming rights before.... I don't have a nifty little spreadsheet to show you how we came up with $200,000. Our real estate division did review some naming rights that had been done by transportation and other entities. But y'know, we kinda felt our way into it."

I asked for information about that review, but my Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request was stonewalled, as I wrote last July.

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Posted by eric at June 23, 2010 10:57 PM