Nearly 10 years ago, the MTA wondered how much it could make by getting subways sponsored by corporations. Now, the financially strapped transit agency is preparing to discuss rules to rename stations at a meeting next week.
According to the NY Times, "The authority cautioned that no name changes were imminent, and many board members have long expressed concerns about selling some of the subway system’s most significant elements to the highest bidders." But, on the other hand, MONEY: Stephen Morello, counselor to MTA chairman Thomas Prendergast, told the Times, "For us and for systems around the country, this is a revenue strategy that’s being discussed more and more seriously."
Back in 2009, MTA sold the naming rights to the Atlantic Avenue station in Brooklyn to Barclays in a $4 million-20 year deal (which works out to $200,000 a year, which seems pretty cheap for some reason) in anticipation of the Barclays Center. Any future renaming would have to have a connection to the stop. Here's the language in the scope:
Station names should be accurate and help orient customers as they navigate the MTA network. Recognizing the importance of ensuring that customers are able to navigate the system easily, requests for the Re-naming of a Facility will only be accepted from Sponsors with a unique or iconic geographic, historic or other connection to such Facility that would readily be apparent to typical MTA customers. An example would be a stop that is associated with a particular destination such that the vasty majority of customers exiting at such station are headed to that destination. MTA will not consider Re-naming requests from third parties looking merely to brand a Facility in the absence of such a compelling nexus between the Facility and the Sponsor.
Guess this is why Ed Koch station never made it through! Anyway, Macy's 34th Street could theoretically be possible but would Trump Columbus Circle be palatable?!
Another way to put it: Should the MTA sell naming rights if it means you won't have to deal with as many fare hikes?