With new stadium naming partner in Rochester, will Nationals Park ever change?

Triple-A Rochester announced yesterday a new naming rights partner for their home stadium. Innovative Solutions, the leading provider of information technology services for growing businesses on Amazon Web Services, and Monroe County agreed to rename Frontier Field, “Innovative Field.”

The renaming coincides with the start of Rochester-based company’s 34th year in business in the Red Wings’ area.

The Red Wings have called Frontier Field, now Innovative Field, home since 1997, one of only six franchises in the history of North American pro sports to have been playing in the same city and league continuously since the 19th century.

With new naming rights in Rochester, it makes one wonder: Will Nationals Park ever bring in a naming rights partner?

Nationals Park has been named as such since it opened on South Capitol Street in 2008.

In 2016, it was reported the team planned to put the naming rights up for sale. Obviously, no deal has been reached since.

Currently, Nationals Park is one of eight major league ballparks without a corporate naming rights partner. The Dodgers, Red Sox, Cubs and Yankees make up half of those ballparks, and as four of the most profitable teams in the sport, they don’t necessarily need a corporate naming rights partner for their historic stadiums.

But there is a lot of money to be made in these stadium naming deals.

Just in the National League East, the Mets have a 20-year, $400 million deal with Citi for Citi Field. The Braves will earn over $250 million during their 25-year agreement with Truist Financial for Truist Park.

However, fans sometimes prefer a traditional name without a sponsor, perhaps why Nationals fans have embraced Nats Park so much over the last 14 years. (Winning helps, too, obviously.)

There is a path where the Nationals could sell the naming rights and keep part of the name as it is now. In 2018, there was an idea to name the stadium "Freedom Park" funded by a coalition of local defense and government contractors.

Another option was to rename it “Freedom Park” with a sponsor attached at the end (Freedom Park presented by *insert company name*).

That might not be to the liking of a lot of fans, but it would allow the name “Nationals Park” to stay while the team still reaps the benefits of having a naming partner.

File this question under the new ownership question umbrella. Although, this issue certainly isn’t at the top of the franchise’s current to-do list.

But if and when a new ownership group buys the Nationals, it will be interesting to see if they pursue selling the stadium’s naming rights as another source of revenue for the organization. The three other major Washington sports stadiums have naming partners: FedEx Field, Capital One Arena and Audi Field.

Would you want to see Nationals Park added to that list?

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