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When two banks merge, it can impact how you do your banking. But it can also affect the name of the stadium or arena where your favorite sports teams play. Currently, the rights to 20 percent of Major League Baseball (MLB) stadium names belong to banks, with two organizations — the Atlanta Braves and Arizona Diamondbacks — having to change their field’s name due to a bank merger.
In fact, some of the largest banks in the U.S. have their names affiliated with MLB stadiums. Chase (the largest bank in the U.S. based on consolidated assets), Citi, PNC Bank, Truist Bank, Citizens Bank and Comerica Bank all secured naming rights at big-league ballparks.
Taking it one step further, if you include American Family Field, Globe Life Field, Great American Ball Park, Progressive Field, Guaranteed Rate Field (which has a CIBC Fan Deck) and LoanDepot Park, then some 40 percent of all MLB ballparks are named after financial services companies.
Banks – and other companies – pay a lot of money to have their names affiliated with a ballpark. For instance, Citigroup paid $400 million for a 20-year deal with the New York Mets back in 2006, according to The New York Times. But the value of having your corporate brand associated with a team that the hometown fans root for can be worth it. Banks get name recognition every time a news report mentions the stadium or when a person tells a friend that they’re “going to Chase Field this weekend.”
Meanwhile, just seven MLB teams have stadiums without corporate naming rights. These include Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, Oriole Park, Kauffman Stadium, Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium and Nationals Park.
List of MLB stadiums named after banks
Chase Field: Arizona Diamondbacks
Year opened: 1998 as Bank One Ballpark and renamed to Chase Field in 2005
The Arizona Diamondbacks played at Bank One Ballpark from 1998 until Sept. 23, 2005. The merger between JPMorgan Chase and Bank One was completed in 2004, leading to the newly named Chase Field taking effect in the fall of 2005. Chase Field has a retractable roof, and the stadium is known for having a swimming pool suite in the outfield.
Citi Field: New York Mets
Year opened: 2009
Less than a year after Citigroup received a government bailout, Citi Field opened as the new home of the New York Mets on April 13, 2009. (Technically the first game at the stadium was a college baseball game with Georgetown playing St. John’s on March 29, 2009.)
Citi Field features the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. It hosted its first World Series games in 2015 and also welcomed the league’s 2013 All-Star Game to New York.
From 1964 to 2008 the Mets played their home games at Shea Stadium.
Citizens Bank Park: Philadelphia Phillies
Year opened: 2004
The Phillies earned the opportunity to host some World Series games last fall at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. The 2022 World Series runner-ups have been around since 1883. But they’ve only played at Citizens Bank Park since 2004.
Comerica Park: Detroit Tigers
Year opened: 2000
Comerica Park is where the Detroit Tigers have played since 2000. Comerica Park hosted the MLB All-Star Game in 2005.
Comerica Bank has its headquarters in Dallas, but it has a main office in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Michigan is one of six states where Comerica Bank has offices.
PNC Park: Pittsburgh Pirates
Year opened: 2001
PNC Park is the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Pittsburgh is also where PNC Bank has its headquarters. The Pirates hosted the MLB All-Star Game in 2006. PNC Park is right near the Allegheny River and there’s a bridge visible past the center-field fence.
Truist Park: Atlanta Braves
Year opened: 2017 as SunTrust Park and renamed to Truist Park in 2020
SunTrust Park became Truist Park in 2020 after the merger of BB&T and SunTrust led to Truist – and the name change of the Braves’ stadium.
The Braves played at Turner Field from 1997 to 2016 and were the 2021 World Series champions. Outside the ballpark is The Battery Atlanta, an area with restaurants and hotels.
Banks sponsor many sports stadiums around the country. It’s a unique way for the bank to be a part of a city and the sports community. Pretty much every game story and mention of the field means that the bank will get publicity. That’s a valuable thing – especially if a team wins a championship and/or has a loyal fan base.