Boise State getting $9 million for Albertsons Stadium deal

The university changes course Wednesday; releases financial figures for Albertsons Stadium.

ccripe@idahostatesman.comJune 19, 2014 

Boise State will receive $9,081,250 over 15 years for selling the naming rights to its football stadium. That's 72.65 percent of the $12.5 million contract announced last month.

The other 27.35 percent of the deal - $3,418,750 - goes to Learfield Sports, which purchased the Broncos' multimedia and marketing rights beginning in 2010 and agreed to pay the school an annual naming-rights guarantee even if it never sold that sponsorship.

Boise State on Wednesday released the exact breakdown of the money in the deal in response to a story in the Idaho Statesman. The school had redacted the dollar amounts involved in its naming-rights contracts with Learfield as "trade secrets" while fulfilling a public-record request from the newspaper.

Boise State President Bob Kustra, whose school needs the State Board of Education to approve the contract Thursday in Idaho Falls, called the Statesman on Wednesday morning and pledged to make the information public. He also expressed frustration that the documents were redacted at Learfield's request.

Learfield President and CEO Greg Brown, in a letter to Boise State and provided to the Statesman, said the redaction was intended to protect the university's interests. However, the school already had announced the total value of the deal at the naming press conference. The redactions covered the annual payments and the formula for how money would be split between Boise State and Learfield.

"We never intended to be anything less than fully transparent with you or anyone else in the general public or the school for our selfish reasons," Brown wrote. "The school is retaining the vast majority of the dollars on this, so we were simply trying to serve you by protecting this information from being made available in the marketplace.

"When the exact figures become available on deals such as this, it's our experience that it sets the bar for future naming rights deals. Our only concern was that at Boise we believed that could be injurious to the school financially."

Albertsons will pay $675,000 for each of the first two years of the contract. That amount increases gradually to $975,000 in the last two years.

Albertsons can opt out of the contract after the fifth year with at least two years' notice. Its early-termination fee is $833,333 multiplied by the number of years fulfilled on the contract minus the total rights fees paid. So if the company opts out after seven years, the payment will be $658,331.

Boise State's share of the naming-rights deal is based on a complicated formula and ranges from $465,909 in 2014-15 to $731,250 in 2028-29.

Here's the breakdown:

• Learfield paid Boise State a total of $775,000 in naming-rights guarantees over the past three years. The company gets that money back, spread across 11 years ($70,454 per year).

• Also for those 11 years, the school gets a naming-rights guarantee that starts at $275,000 and increases to $350,000. Learfield gets $75,000 per year. Those numbers are detailed in a contract that expires in 2016-17 and could be extended through 2019-20. But in Learfield's formula, those numbers are continued through 2024-25.

• After those three amounts are subtracted from Albertsons' annual payment, the remaining amount is split 75 percent to Boise State and 25 percent to Learfield.

In the last four years, Learfield gets a simple 25 percent share. And the company's payout will continue even if Boise State does not extend their relationship.

Learfield gets the commission because it purchased the stadium naming rights as part of a wide-ranging rights agreement with Boise State that began in 2010-11. The terms that dictated how the money would be split were put in place on July 1, 2010.

Even if Learfield never sold the stadium rights, it would have paid Boise State at least $1.65 million for them. That amount would have increased to $2.65 million if Boise State exercised its three one-year options in the contract.

"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 (Athletic Director) 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."


Here's how much money Albertsons will pay in its naming-rights agreement for Boise State's football stadium - and how much of that cash goes to Boise State (based on fiscal years):

Year – Albertsons pays – Boise State gets

2015 – $675,000 – $465,909

2016 – $675,000 – $472,159

2017 – $725,000 – $509,659

2018 – $725,000 – $515,909

2019 – $775,000 – $553,409

2020 – $775,000 – $559,659

2021 – $825,000 – $597,159

2022 – $825,000 – $597,159

2023 – $875,000 – $634,659

2024 – $875,000 – $634,659

2025 – $925,000 – $672,159

2026 – $925,000 – $693,750

2027 – $950,000 – $712,500

2028 – $975,000 – $731,250

2029 – $975,000 – $731,250

Total – $12.5 million – $9,081,250

NOTES: The other $3,418,750 goes to Learfield Sports, which purchased Boise State's marketing and multimedia rights beginning in 2010. ... Boise State's total is off by a dollar because some of the annual numbers have been rounded.

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