Baltimore arena now CFG Bank Arena



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Baltimore Arena naming rights and re-development Image: Oak View Group

The Oak View Group (OVG), the global venue development, advisory and investment company for both the sports and live entertainment industries, announced recently an exclusive multiyear arena naming rights agreement with the CFG Bank to rename Baltimore’s renovated downtown arena – the CFG Bank Arena in Baltimore, Maryland, US.

‘THE DAILY RECORD’ stated that the terms of the deal were not disclosed. This is the first stadium or arena sponsorship for CFG Bank.

The OVG Oak View Group, LLC is an American Global Advisory, Development and Investment Company for the Sports and Live Entertainment industries. Based in Los Angeles (US), it was formed on November 16th, 2015 by Tim Leiweke and his business partner, Irving Azoff. Leiweke is the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

The CFG Bank Arena is a multipurpose arena located in Baltimore, Maryland (US). The Arena is located about a block away from the Baltimore Convention Center on the corner of Baltimore Street and Hopkins Place. It is also only a short distance from the Inner Harbor. It seats 13,000-plus and can be expanded, depending upon the event.

The CFG Bank Arena is projected to open in February 2023 and will host more than 120 major events annually. The announcement comes the day following the original building’s 60th anniversary, October 23rd, 1962.

‘THE DAILY RECORD’ further stated that in addition to securing naming rights to the arena, the CFG Bank’s agreement includes prominent exterior and interior signage, exclusive benefits to CFG Bank clients, cardholders and team members as well as the launch of a new community engagement program.

The largest bank headquartered in Baltimore, the CFG Bank is a locally and solely owned Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-insured bank that provides commercial, personal and online banking solutions to the mid-Atlantic business community, the national cannabis industry and the national healthcare market. The CFG Bank offers niche financing, leverage lending and equipment financing and leasing for its clients. In addition to its headquarters, the CFG Bank has branches in Lutherville and Baltimore and a commercial office in Annapolis (City in Maryland).

In partnership with the Baltimore Development Corporation, Fundamental Advisors and Thirty Five Ventures (35V), co-founded by the National Basketball Association (NBA) player Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman and 13-time Grammy Award-winner Pharrell Williams, the event included brief remarks from Wiedel, Leiweke, Williams, and others, including the Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis Jr.

Once fully renovated, the arena is expected to serve as a key anchor on downtown Baltimore’s West side and help drive further investment and development in the area. As part of the planned renovations, OVG, Fundamental Advisors and 35V will fully fund the cost of the arena’s total reconstruction through a combination of private debt and equity, which in aggregate is estimated to be $200 million. In return, they will lease the building for the next 30 years through an entity called Baltimore Arena Co.

Renovations to the arena include the removal of the permanent stage, adding seats and suites, refurbishing concourses, upgrading concessions areas, and changing the building’s appearance. Additional upgrades to the facility will include focuses on sustainability such as using locally sourced materials, LED lighting, low flow and waterless fixtures and more, world-class acoustics to amplify the audio experience, touchless and self-serve technologies for food and beverage and merchandise purchases to minimize transaction times, renovations to the venue’s back of house, structural, mechanical, electrical, lighting and fire protection upgrades as well as construction encompassing plumbing, electrical, fire protection, lighting and updates to the arena’s telecommunications infrastructure, wireless network and video/network/security systems.

The new arena will enable Baltimore to contend for more events, driving significant economic growth for the City. The project’s delivery will also serve as a boon to the local economy and is anticipated to create about 500 jobs over the 12 months of construction.

Located at 201 W. Baltimore St., the CFG Bank Arena will host dozens of concerts, family shows, community, corporate and private events, and sporting events such as Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), tennis, boxing, National Basketball Association (NBA) exhibition games, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) events, tournaments, and more. Once fully renovated, the CFG Bank Arena will accommodate 14,000 guests.

The CFG Bank Arena is scheduled to open in advance of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments, scheduled for February 20th-26th. Other previously announced events for the CFG Bank Arena include a Bruce Springsteen (American singer-songwriter) and The E Street Band (American rock band) performance on April 7th and the newly reunited Blink-182 (American rock band) on May 26th.

The CFG Bank was advised on the deal by Playfly Premier Partnerships (industry-leading sports marketing agency).

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