Depending upon a decision in a bankruptcy case, the name of Avaya Stadium–home to MLS’s San Jose Earthquakes–could change by the 2019 season.
The Santa Clara-based Avaya is in the midst of a backruptcy case. As part of that proceeding, the telecommunications company has asked a federal judge to shorten its 10-year naming rights agreement for Avaya Stadium, effectively ending it after the 2018 MLS season if the request is granted.
Under the terms of its original agreement that was reached with the Earthquakes in 2014, Avaya was to pay $20 million for Avaya Stadium naming rights over a period of 10 years. Should the request to shorten the contract be granted, it would effectively allow the Earthquakes to secure a new naming rights partner in time for the 2019 season.
According to recent documents filed in court, the Earthquakes have agreed to the proposal that would bring an early end to the contract. In a statement, the club expressed confidence that it could secure a new naming rights partner. More from The Mercury News:
The Quakes have started searching for a new stadium partner, they said in a statement released Saturday to this news organization.
They “are confident that we will have one in place for the 2019 season,” the release said. Team also said in its statement that it was happy to reach “a mutually beneficial solution” to Avaya’s financial restructuring.
Three years ago, Avaya had agreed to a 10-year deal for $20 million — or $2 million annually, according to the contract submitted in court papers. But the technology company filed for Chapter 11 protection in January to restructure its financial situation. Besides naming rights, the original deal included making the 18,000-seat stadium the first cloud-enabled facility in Major League Soccer. Avaya also provided other technology services for the popular stadium across from San Jose Mineta International Airport.
“As our priorities shift to greater investment in innovation and growth, we have reassessed certain of our contracts, including our sponsorship of Avaya Stadium,” the technology company said in a statement issued to this news organization. “We are happy that we have reached an agreement to transition out of the contract that works for both sides.”
The documents were filed Thursday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of New York. It is anticipated that judge Stuart M. Bernstein will issue his decision on the request on December 12.
Image courtesy Avaya Stadium.