The Nashville Predators have signed a double-digit million dollar agreement for the naming rights of the Sommet Center, which is set to become the Bridgestone Arena.
The deal, which must be ratified by Metro Sports Authority, the facility's landlord, is expected to be confirmed within the next few days. Reports place the sponsorship at US$2.5 million per year for the next five years. The agreement follows a long-term dispute between the National Hockey League franchise and the Sommet Group.
Bridgestone's spending on sports sponsorships has more than doubled in the past three years. The Predators, meanwhile, have reached the play-offs in four of the last five seasons.
The sponsorship could be seen as a sign of the team's commitment to Nashville, which some have questioned. If by the end of the 2009/10 season, the team loses at least US$20 million or more in cash flow and does not average 14,000 per game in average attendance, the team can break its lease with the city by paying a US$20 million breaking fee.