War Memorial Stadium Deal With AT&T Worth Up to $1.8 Million Over 10 Years

After keeping the price under wraps in an effort to control "proprietary information," AT&T revealed on Thursday it would pay up to $1.8 million over 10 years to brand the turf at War Memorial Stadium "AT&T Field."

Wednesday's announcement at the publicly owned facility in Little Rock unveiled the new artwork to be emblazoned on the field, but officials then had balked at discussing the exact details of the agreement between the stadium and the telecom company.

The agreement is for 10 years, with AT&T having an option on the second half of the deal and with the first five years being slightly less than $175,000 per year. If AT&T continues with the advertising arrangement after five years, the annual fee to the stadium increases 2.5 percent per year, to where after 10 years the total value of the contract would be worth slightly more than $1.8 million over the decade.

AT&T independently valued the deal for inlay advertising on the field and other signage at about $167,000 per year. The stadium commission's sports marketing appraiser put the value of the deal at $169,000. In the end, the two groups settled on $175,0-- a year, with the stadium paying for installation of signage and AT&T's up front first-year cost being about $165,000 for the year.

Gary Smith, chairman of the War Memorial Stadium Commission, said the agreement is "the biggest contract the stadium has signed in its 62-year history."

(For more coverage including video of Wednesday's ceremony, visit ArkansasSports360.com)