Bowman Field at "blank" Stadium.
That's one of the topics City Council will bat around at its meeting Thursday night.
Mayor Gabriel J. Campana is asking council to approve a consulting agreement to seek out corporate or individual naming rights for the stadium where the Williamsport Crosscutters play baseball.
The concept, which has been promised not to cost the city budget a dime, was floated by Campana, who envisions bringing another $50,000 a year into the city coffers.
"We're looking for dollars for our coffers," Campana said. "I don't want to delay this to the next budget."
After the meeting, Campana spoke of the reasons for adding revenue to the city, highlighting a need to find funding for a planned flood levee accreditation to satisfy the Federal Emergency Management Agency that has been estimated at $150,000 a year over two years.
As planned by the administration, Stephen Reed, who was Harrisburg's mayor for 28 years, a former Dauphin County commissioner and a state legislator, would oversee the naming rights' project.
Reed, now chief consultant of Reed Strategic Advisers, met Tuesday with the city finance committee to review the project.
He said the name Bowman Field won't be replaced, but a corporation or individual's name would be added in the title of the ballpark. Examples include PNC Park in Pittsburgh. But for Williamsport the name would be Bowman Field at Ogden Publishing Stadium, or Bowman Field at Pepsi Stadium, to use two businesses as purely hypothetical examples.
"We want to retain the name Bowman Field," Reed said. There is a Pennsylvania Historical Commission marker at this field.
The consultant's compensation for the first year of the agreement would consist of 15-percent commission on the first year's proceeds from any approved sale of naming rights, Reed said.
Reed, for his part, told finance committee members and the administration that he has several interested parties, including individuals and corporations. Businesses that would be in the running for the naming rights would include established companies and companies with the Marcellus Shale industries, he said.
"It is no cost to the city and we don't lose a dime," said Bill Hall, chairman of the finance committee, reviewing the terms.
Campana said the ideal contract would be for five years.
Other consultants approached wanted $50,000 up front, according to Reed. Still others wanted larger percentages over the life of the contract.
The proposed resolution received a positive recommendation by Hall and city Councilman Jonathan Williamson. The idea of the naming rights' consultant was supported by Councilwoman Gerry Fausnaught but she voted against it because it was presented before the concept was brought before the Bowman Field Commission, an advisory board that recommends issues for council to consider regarding the park.
In fact, the revised resolution includes a contingency that the resolution include approval by the Commission.
To get the ball rolling, William C. Wright, general manager of Streets and Parks Department, was in the process of setting up a meeting with the Bowman Field Commission for early in November, Campana said.
"Out of respect for the commission, the meeting has been set up with Reed," Campana said. The Bowman Field Commission met last week, but the mayor said he couldn't attend the meeting because he was in Scranton.
The Crosscutters support the concept of adding an additional name to Bowman Field, Campana said.