Baltimore Arena naming rights sold in multiyear deal

An artist’s rendering of the completely renovated CFG Bank Arena, which is expected to open in early 2023 in Baltimore. (Submitted rendering)

Oak View Group, the global venue development, advisory and investment company for both the sports and live entertainment industries, announced Monday an exclusive multiyear arena naming rights agreement with CFG Bank to rename Baltimore’s renovated downtown arena.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed Monday. This is the first stadium or arena sponsorship for CFG Bank.

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

In addition to securing naming rights to the arena, 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, CFG Bank is a locally and solely owned, FDIC-insured bank that provides commercial, personal, and online banking solutions to the mid-Atlantic business community, national cannabis industry and national health care market. CFG Bank offers niche financing, leverage lending, and equipment financing and leasing for its clients. In addition to its headquarters, CFG Bank has branches in Lutherville and Baltimore and a commercial office in Annapolis.

In partnership with The Baltimore Development Corporation, Fundamental Advisors and Thirty Five Ventures (35V), co-founded by 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 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., CFG Bank Arena will host dozens of concerts, family shows, community, corporate and private events and sporting events such as UFC, tennis, boxing, NBA exhibition games, NCAA events, tournaments and more. Once fully renovated, CFG Bank Arena will accommodate 14,000 guests.

CFG Bank Arena is scheduled to open in advance of the CIAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments, scheduled for Feb. 20-26. Other previously announced events for CFG Bank Arena include a Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band performance on April 7 and the newly reunited blink-182 on May 26.

CFG Bank was advised on the deal by Playfly Premier Partnerships.

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