Venue News: Rutgers Sells Naming Rights; Anaheim Unveils Honda Center Plans

Rutgers University announced Tuesday that it has agreed to a 10-year, $6.5 million contract with High Point Solutions, a New Jersey-based tech company, that will include naming rights to the university’s 52,454-seat football stadium. Although the deal will initially pay Rutgers $650,000 annually, the annual value reportedly could climb to more than $1 million. Looking to achieve financial independence for its athletics department, Rutgers publicly began its effort to sell naming rights last June…

…Anaheim Arena Management unveiled improvements to Honda Center that will better accommodate a second tenant in the home of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks, further cementing the belief that the city will soon host an NBA franchise. A major expansion of the team store is planned, increasing from 1,800 sq. ft. to 4,200 sq. ft. to provide a full selection of merchandise from an additional team. Also planned is a 12,000-sq.-ft. Grand Terrace, which will be located on the San Manuel Premium Level. The indoor/outdoor entertainment space will be outfitted with an 80-ft. bar and upscale décor. Improvements also include a 250-seat full-service restaurant and upgrades to all 84 luxury boxes…

…The University of Michigan Board of Regents approved $14 million in improvements to Yost Ice Arena, home to the school’s hockey teams, as the school prepares for a transition to a Big Ten hockey conference. The improvements will mainly address fan comfort but are intended to draw additional revenue. At 6,637 seats, Yost Ice Arena will be one of the smaller venues in the new Big Ten conference but will feature theater-style seats, new premium seating areas, and an upgraded concourse with improved concessions and more points of sale. In addition, ADA-accessible seating and loge boxes will be installed, and a new press-box area will be designed on the west side of the arena…

The RBC Center in Raleigh, NC, may lose its name after PNC Financial’s acquisition of RBC Bank USA, but no decision has been made on when any change will occur or what the building’s new name might be. RBC’s 20-year, $80 million naming-rights agreement with the sports and entertainment venue lasts until 2022. The RBC Center is home to the Carolina Hurricanes and North Carolina State men’s basketball. PNC has said that it intends to merge RBC Bank into the PNC platform, converting RBC customers and replacing RBC branch signage. Landlord Centennial Authority would have to approve any arena name change…

…Andy Lansing, chief executive officer of Levy Restaurants, said his company has seen sales rising at sports arenas and stadiums. He discussed sales of food in corporate-owned suites and luxury boxes with Carol Massar on Bloomberg Television’s Street Smart.