It sounds like the home of the San Antonio Spurs will be getting a new name soon. AT&T has reportedly sold it’s 7% minority interest in the team and will not renew it’s current contract as naming-rights sponsor, which expires in 2022, per Front Office Sports.
It’s expected the arena will remain known as AT&T Center until the contract expires in fall of 2022, although the telecom giant exited the team in another manner in recent weeks. Front Office Sports learned that AT&T sold off its minority interest in the Spurs, which stood at about 7% of the team. AT&T later confirmed the sale to FOS.
The portion of ownership that AT&T gave up has already been absorbed by the the 30% stake in the franchise that investment firm Sixth Street and billionaire Michael Dell purchased last moth. The sale is reportedly a result of AT&T looking to “balance its sheets and assets to identify opportunities for monetization”, according to VP of corporate communications for AT&T, Fletcher Cook, which includes reassessing its debt load and looking for cost-cutting measures.
AT&T also pays close to $20 million annually for the naming rights to AT&T Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys. The $2 million it payed annually for the same rights with the Spurs was reportedly one of the lowest in professional sports. It will be interesting to see what the home of the Spurs’ new name will be. It was initially known as the SBC Center when it first opened in 2002 before SBC merged with AT&T in 2005, so the new name will be the arena’s third.