Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Naming rights for Camden concert hall brings $10 million

The Feb. 5th Intelligencer Journal reports that the Susquehanna Bank of Lititz agreed to pay "in excess of $10 million" for naming rights for the concert arena in Camden, NJ over a five year term and two five year option periods.

The population of Camden is around 80,000 people and it is reputed to be one of the most impoverished, crime ridden cities in the nation.

While residents from the suburbs of Lancaster City do not hesitate to visit, dine and shop downtown, few suburbanites venture into Camden for licit purchases except when swiftly coming and going to the heavily patrolled concert hall.

So if naming rights for the exterior sign in Camden concert hall are worth $10 million over fifteen years, shouldn't similar rights for the Lancaster Convention Center for both the exterior and various portions of the Convention Center interior garner a similar amount?

Oops. We almost forgot. For reasons that members of the LCCCA Convention Center Authority couldn't figure out, the agreement between the LCCCA and Penn Square Partners "gifts" half of the naming right proceeds to subsidiaries of the Lancaster Newspapers, Inc. and the High Group which make up Penn Square Partners.

Hopefully the LCCCA Board will research how such an extraordinary diversion of funds could have taken place without it being made known to board members and the public.

But then again, it wasn't very likely the monopoly newspapers would have informed the public about it.