No guys, Bryce Harper isn’t a Giant but there certainly are big things happening at Third and King.
According to Chronicle’s Henry Schulman, AT&T and the San Francisco Giants have parted ways. The franchise will announce a 20-year deal with Oracle, officially changing the name to “Oracle Park, effective immediately.
Per the article, while the deals are not being made public, Larry Baer confirmed that it was “very much in line with other recent naming-rights deals for top-tier facilities” putting it in the range of $300-350 million — at least $200 million more than the previous deal. That’s enough to get AJ Pollock at least, right?
I walked by the park and most of the lights are down so I couldn’t see if the signs were already in the process of being removed, but according to Schulman, the project is already underway. We knew the existing deal with AT&T was up for renegotiation soon, but...
Did anyone see this coming?
A lot of thoughts going through my head. First and foremost, will we still have excellent AT&T wifi in the stadium? Because, um, I need that to make GIFs in the press box.
Just kidding (kinda) but I think this will be a big adjustment to fans, especially since popular San Francisco Giants vocabulary such as “being AT&T’d” are part of the everyday culture and vernacular. I just don’t think “being Oracle’d” has the same ring to it.
Additionally, a lot of things have happened since the park changed over from Pac Bell Park in 2000 to SBC in 2003 to AT&T Park in 2006. The Giants have won three World Series titles in that time and there’s a lot of nostalgia associated with the former “AT&T Park”. I think it’s going to be a mental exercise just to get it right moving forward.
One small note is that until the Warriors move to San Francisco and play in the new Chase Center, it might be a little confusing to have two Oracles in commission. “Meet me at Oracle” no longer works. Trivial, yes, but definitely confusing.
Personally, the naming of the ballpark doesn’t matter to me at all. I’m sure from an operational standpoint there is lots to be done but from a fan and consumer standpoint, it’s just another piece of marketing that everyone will eventually adapt to.
Trying to think through some of the alternatives of big companies in the bay: Salesforce, Facebook, Google, Apple, Adobe, Netflix, Wells Fargo - honestly Oracle isn’t that bad. I’ve already mentally categorized Oracle as a place where sports happen, so of all the other options, I think this is a fine choice.
I would prefer to call it “Buster Posey’s Castle of Wonders” but I don’t think anyone’s gonna go for that.
Also, kudos to whoever has already changed the name on Wikipedia. Y’all have too much time.