Aerial photo of Nationals Park. Home of the Washington Nationals.

Image Credit: (CC BY-SA 2.0)

If you're a Washington Nationals fan that took pride in the fact that your favorite team didn't play in a stadium named after a large corporation, well, you won't like this news. Ted Lerner and family are exploring the idea of striking a deal that would put a sponsor's name on the ballpark in time for the 2017 MLB season. The Washington Nationals organization originally tried to sell the ballpark's naming rights in 2008 when the venue first opened but were unsuccessful. 

However, keep in mind that this change is part of an effort to make sure the Washington Nationals growing payroll can be sustained for years to come. The team is following a playoff appearance in 2016 and will have to shell out big money if they hope to keep Bryce Harper on the roster long term. Rivals such as the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves may have influenced Lerner's decision when they signed two of the largest naming rights deals in Major League Baseball for their home stadiums; Citi Field and SunTrust Park

The Washington Nationals front office is currently partnering with MLB Advanced Media and Korn Ferry advisory firm to find the right fit for the organization and the ballpark. The fact that the Nationals are hosting the 2018 MLB All-Star Game will be a strong selling point when pitching to potential partners. Financial institutions will most likely be in the conversation as an ideal suitor to purchase the stadium's naming rights as will telecommunications and technology companies. Nationals Park was the first certified "Green" ballpark in Major League Baseball.




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