Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who as legend has it once scolded Bengals owner Mike Brown for not selling the naming rights to the stadium in which his team plays, is close to selling the naming rights to Cowboys Stadium nearly four years after it opened.
According to FOXSportsSouthwest.com, the Cowboys are finalizing a deal with AT&T, which apparently will become the official wireless provider of fans who show up for Super Bowls to be played there but who are told their tickets can’t be used.
Jones went without a sponsor’s name attached to the building not because he wanted to but because a struggling economy kept him from getting the kind of deal he desired. As he explained it in 2011, ”I have always said that unless we are ready in the right way with the right partner, then Cowboys Stadium is the way we want it.”
Since then, the economy has improved and multiple naming-rights deals have been done. Most recently, the 49ers sold the naming rights to their new stadium to Levi’s, which will pay $220 million over 20 years for the Field of Jeans. (It won’t be called that, even though it should be.)
If/when finalized, only six teams will play in stadiums that don’t have naming-rights deals: the Bills (Ralph Wilson Stadium); the Bengals (Paul Brown Stadium); the Chiefs (Arrowhead Stadium); the Bears (Soldier Field); the Packers (Lambeau Field); and the Falcons (Georgia Dome).
The terms of the deal between the Cowboys and AT&T are not yet known. Maybe Jones can use some of the extra money to finally buy the rights to Cowboys.com.
UPDATE 8:00 p.m. ET: A prior version of this story included the Lions and Ford Field as the seventh team that doesn’t have a naming-rights deal. The “Ford” in Ford Field stands not for the family that owns the team but the Ford Motor Company.