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things that just are

Friday, February 11, 2005

Celtics can play at your home court
BOSTON -- Ever want the Boston Celtics to play on your basketball court? How about host your very own rock concert for 20,000 fans?

Well, now you can -- sort of.

The owner of the formerly named FleetCenter is offering the arena's naming rights on a day-to-day basis to the highest bidder of an online auction until a new corporate sponsor can be found.

More than a dozen auctions for dates starting with Feb. 16 began Thursday on eBay. People also can place bids on the FleetCenter Web site.

Marketing specialists have estimated the value of FleetCenter's naming rights at more than $4 million a year, or nearly $11,000 per day.

Proceeds from the deals will go to a charity supported by the arena's owner, Delaware North Cos.

The FleetCenter name became obsolete when Bank of America acquired FleetBoston Financial Corp. for $48 billion last year, and the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank agreed to give up the arena naming rights as part of the deal. Delaware North has been identifying possible corporate candidates for a long-term deal.

The home of the Celtics and the NHL's Boston Bruins could carry the names of the bidder, a loved one or a business.

Richard Krezwick, president and chief executive of Delaware North, offered his own suggestion: The Rollie Krezwick Center, in honor of the executive's dog, a wheaten terrier.

''He's a big sports fan,'' Krezwick said. ''He watches hockey religiously.''

Bidders will not be required to include ''Center'' in the building name, and the arena will approve all names provided they're ''rated G,'' Krezwick said.

Winning bidders won't get to change the arena's large exterior signs but will be able to see their chosen names on the arena's Web site and its Jumbotron video screen."

From Chicago Sun Times


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