February 3, 2006

San Francisco stadium renamed again

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The San Francisco Giants changed
the name of their stadium on Friday for the third time since
2004, a result of continuous changes in the corporate world
that pay handsomely for sports naming rights.

The stadium, within walking distance of central San
Francisco, will change from SBC Park to AT&T Park. Last year
SBC bought AT&T and adopted the AT&T name as it became the
largest U.S. telecommunications company.

Opened in 2000 as Pacific Bell Park, the stadium changed
its name to SBC Park in January 2004. Before then, its famous
players such as Willie Mays engaged in the national pastime
between the airport and central San Francisco at Candlestick

AT&T Park could be the focus of nationwide attention in the
coming baseball season as the single-season home run champion
Barry Bonds seeks to overtake Babe Ruth for second place on the
all-time U.S. home run record books.

U.S. sports teams have sold the naming rights to their
stadiums for many millions of dollars in recent years. The
former parent company of Pacific Bell paid $50 million in 1996
in a 24-year naming rights deal with the Giants.