- Charlotte ObserverCharlotte Bobcats officials confirmed Saturday night that Time Warner Cable is a finalist to get naming rights to the uptown arena, a deal they hope to close soon.
Bobcats majority owner Bob Johnson, asked about reports that a deal with Time Warner might be close, deferred questions to Fred Whitfield, the team's president. Whitfield said the cable company is a candidate but there is no deal "at this point."
"We are still talking to other people," he told the Observer.
The two spoke during a gala uptown fundraiser for Presbyterian Hospital, an event attended by Bobcats players and executives. Naming rights were a hot topic of conversation among many at the black-tie event.
Charlotte Bobcats Arena has been without a corporate namesake ever since it opened in 2005. The team broadcasts most of its games on Time Warner's News 14 Carolina channel.
Time Warner officials could not be reached Saturday night. But Brian Kelly, a senior vice president of marketing and sales, told the Charlotte Business Journal last week that the company was "in some pretty good ongoing negotiations" with the Bobcats.
How much the naming rights would sell for is unclear.
In 2004, Bank of America paid the Carolina Panthers an estimated $140 million for the naming rights for the football stadium for 20 years.
I'd be fine with that I guess, I just wish we had a better deal so that those outside the Charlotte Area could still watch the games, we don't even get them on local channels in Wilson, or any channel to be specific. Kind of Sucks, either way though at least they are getting paid for it, hopefully they'll interview a few others and maybe it'll drive the price up a bit...