Boise State will get $9 million from Albertsons naming-rights deal

The university had claimed in answer to public-records request that the money behind stadium naming is a trade secret.

ccripe@idahostatesman.comJune 18, 2014 

A rendering of Albertsons Stadium, the new name for Boise State's football stadium. The school will add Albertsons signage before the 2014 football season.

COURTESY BOISE STATE

Boise State will receive $9,081,250 from the Albertsons Stadium naming-right deal, 72.65 percent of the total package, according to documents obtained by the Idaho Statesman on Wednesday afternoon.

Albertsons will pay $12.5 million over the next 15 years for the naming rights to Bronco Stadium. Learfield, which holds the athletic department's marketing rights, will receive the rest. The split is slightly worse than the 75-25 split that was originally described when the contract was announced.

Boise State had withheld details of the Albertsons deal — even from the State Board of Education, which was to consider the dollar-less contract Thursday in Idaho Falls.

Boise State President Bob Kustra called the Idaho Statesman on Wednesday morning, however, pledging to release the redacted information at Thursday's State Board meeting and expressed disappointment that the information was withheld. The information was withheld at the request of Learfield, not Albertsons. But the school, after conversations with Learfield, opted to release the financial details.

The yearly payments from Albertsons to Bronco Sports Properties are as follows (with Boise State's expected gross payment in parentheses):

July 1, 2014: $675,000 ($465,909)

July 1, 2015: $675,000 ($472,159)

July 1, 2016: $725,000 ($509,659)

July 1, 2017: $725,000 ($515,909)

July 1, 2018: $775,000 ($553,409)

July 1, 2019: $775,000 ($559,659)

July 1, 2020: $825,000 ($597,159)

July 1, 2021: $825,000 ($597,159)

July 1, 2022: $875,000 ($634,659)

July 1, 2023: $875,000 ($634,659)

July 1, 2024: $925,000 ($672,159)

July 1, 2025: $925,000 ($693,750)

July 1, 2026: $950,000 ($712,500)

July 1, 2027: $975,000 ($731,250)

July 1, 2028: $975,000 ($731,250)

Total: $12.5 million ($9,081,250)

Learfield paid Boise State naming rights guarantee fees for the last three academic years. Those amounts totaled $775,000. That total will be deducted from the payments to Boise State over an 11-year period.

The money will flow as follows for 2014-15:

Step 1: $275,000 (2014-15 naming rights guarantee fee) + $70,454 (1/11 of the $775,000 to be repaid) + $75,000 (the annual return for Learfield) = the total deduction of $420,454 from the annual naming rights fee paid by Albertsons.

Step 2: $675,000 (naming rights payment) - $420,454 (total deduction from Step 1) = $254,546

Step 3: 75 percent of $254,546 = $190,909 (university's share) and 25 percent of $254,546 = $63,637 (Learfield's share).

Under that calculation, Boise State would net $465,909. That matches Boise State's projection.

"There are things that Learfield gives us that I don't think people think about," Kustra said at the May 21 announcement for Albertsons Stadium. "But I always would like to minimize the amount that you have to hand over to somebody who really wasn't as directly involved in this as Mark Coyle was and as I was, but that's the nature of these relationships.

"Over the years, Learfield has served this university well when it comes to the connections we've made. They're able to reach out and find relationships for us that we can't."

Original story

Boise State has withheld details of the Albertsons Stadium naming-rights deal — even from the State Board of Education, which will consider the dollar-less contract Thursday in Idaho Falls.

The home of Boise State football previously was called Bronco Stadium.

When the deal was announced last month, Boise State said Albertsons agreed to pay $12.5 million over 15 years and that the revenue would be split 75 percent to the school and 25 percent to Learfield Sports, which owns the Broncos' marketing rights.

But the contract that was distributed to the media did not include a single dollar sign. Instead, it referenced the dollar amounts in a "letter agreement" between Albertsons and Learfield. The school initially denied the Idaho Statesman's request for that document.

After a public records request, the school provided the letter agreement to the Idaho Statesman - but blacked out every dollar amount, claiming those details are "trade secrets."

On Monday, the State Board posted the agenda for this week's meeting in Idaho Falls. Boise State provided the same limited financial information and contract to the State Board as it did to the media.

The State Board staff concluded: "The net revenue to be paid to BSU under this Agreement (in concert with the Learfield agreement) remains uncertain to staff. This issue along with additional questions about the Agreement remain to be addressed at the Board meeting. Staff reserves judgment pending resolution of these matters."

The State Board documents did indicate that $100,000 of the proceeds will go to the university's new alumni center.

The Statesman also requested and received the original agreement between Boise State and Learfield for naming rights, part of the marketing rights deal between the two parties that began in 2010. That document also was heavily redacted.

Learfield has provided Boise State with a naming-rights guarantee - amount redacted - since 2011-12. That means the company paid for a sponsorship that it wasn't able to sell for three years.

The contract stipulates that Boise State gets the annual guarantee (amount redacted) and that Learfield gets the next (amount redacted) from a naming-rights contract. Then Boise State and Learfield split the rest 75/25. So it's possible that Boise State's actual take is less than 75 percent.

Also, the payments that Boise State received the past three years from Learfield will be deducted from the school's Albertsons payout. But once the Learfield deal expires, all of the Albertsons revenue will be split 75/25.

The Learfield contract expires June 30, 2017. Boise State has three additional one-year options.

Here are Boise State's annual royalty guarantees from Learfield, not including stadium naming rights:

• 2010-11: $2.135 million

• 2011-12: $2.26 million

• 2012-13: $2.335 million

• 2013-14: $2.41 million

• 2014-15: $2.485 million

• 2015-16: $2.56 million

• 2016-17: $2.635 million

• 2017-18: $2.71 million*

• 2018-19: $2.785 million*

• 2019-20: $2.86 million*

* Indicates university-controlled option years.

Boise State also receives 50 percent of any revenue above a certain threshold. For 2013-14, that threshold was $4.445 million.

Boise State gets another $500,000 if it exercises all three contract option years. The contract also called for a $1 million capital stipend over the life of the contract to help with facility improvements that enhance sponsorship opportunities, such as the new video board at Bronco Stadium.

The contract also includes $300,000 in annual trade value for office equipment, cell phones and other items and $292,000 in annual trade value for advertising.

AWAY TICKETS ON SALE

Tickets are now on sale for each of the football team's away games in 2014.

Prices for the opener against Ole Miss on Aug. 28 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta are $83 lower level (sections 113-125), $94 mezzanine level (sections 228-232) and $109 club level (sections 217-226).

For other games, the prices are:

• UConn (Sept. 13): $45.50

• Air Force (Sept. 27): $50.50

• Nevada (Oct. 4): $51.50

• New Mexico (Nov. 8): $23.50

• Wyoming (Nov. 22): $45.50

All tickets are available at boisestatetickets.com.

For home games, only season tickets are on sale. Individual-game tickets go on sale to the public Aug. 18.

ASSISTANT CONTRACT DETAILS

Each full-time, on-field assistant football coach receives a $2,000 bonus for reaching the Mountain West championship game and either a $3,000 bonus for a bowl game or a 5 percent bonus for a College Football Playoff game, according to contracts requested by the Statesman.

They can receive $2,000-$5,000 based on the team's Academic Progress Rate. They also get the use of a car.

Here are the staff salaries:

• Marcel Yates, defensive coordinator, $317,512

• Mike Sanford, offensive coordinator, $305,012

• Scott Huff, offensive line, $270,005

• Kent Riddle, special teams/running backs/associate head coach, $250,016

• Steve Caldwell, defensive line/assistant head coach, $220,002

• Andy Avalos, linebackers, $210,018

• Junior Adams, wide receivers, $160,015

• Julius Brown, defensive backs, $160,015

• Eliah Drinkwitz, tight ends, $160,015

Also, Boise State has added a staff member. Darren Uscher is the new football operations coordinator. Brian Wilkinson remains the director of football operations.

BUDGET FORECAST FOR 2015

Boise State submitted a $37 million budget to the State Board for 2014-15. That's down from $41.7 million in 2013-14, but that number is inflated by the construction of the Bleymaier Football Complex.

Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat

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