What's a City Sports Park Name Worth? $1.5 Million

By Randy McIlwain
|  Thursday, Aug 19, 2010  |  Updated 11:30 PM CDT
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Lewisville Sells Park Naming Rights for $1.5M

NBCDFW.com

Toyota of Lewisville bought the naming rights to Railroad Park for $1.5 million.

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Lewisville Sells Park Naming Rights for $1.5M

The city of Lewisville sold the naming rights to its newest public park for $1.5 million to a local car dealership.
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The city of Lewisville has taken a page from the playbooks of Mark Cuban and Jerry Jones.

Lewisville sold the naming rights to its premier sports complex, Railroad Park, for the next 10 years to Toyota of Lewisville.

"We were looking for a way to boost our services to continue to find a way to keep providing high-quality services but not keep dipping into taxpayers' pockets," city spokesman James Kunke said.

The car dealership spent $1.5 million for the naming rights.

"We want people to know that we put back into the community," said Chris George, the dealership's sales director. "We're going to be here for a long time."

The investment buys Toyota of Lewisville signage throughout the park and space to display vehicles during events.

"We're going to try to keep it from being in your face the whole time," George said. "It's going to be subtle, (we will) have like a mobile sales team with vehicles out there that people can test drive during a practice."

The city also has space on the fences that border the park's grounds, baseball fields and other space to sell to other sponsors -- but not other car dealerships.

Toyota of Lewisville will make an annual payment of $150,000 to the city. The money will be used to reinvest into and expand the park's facilities, the city said.

"Come back in a couple of years, maybe there's a new fishing dock down on one of the lakes, a new kayak and canoe pullout on the river or shade over all the seating," Kunke said.

More than half a million visitors have gone to Railroad Park since its opening last fall.

The Toyota of Lewisville signage should be in place in October.

City leaders said they are fielding calls from other cities asking how they marketed the sale of the naming rights. Lewisville said it's also taking calls from businesses looking for naming rights deals for other public facilities in the city.

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