BALTIMORE – PSINet Inc. has filed a request in bankruptcy court to take its name, displayed in a neon purple logo, off the Baltimore Ravens stadium.
The Internet company and the Ravens have agreed to terminate a 20-year, $105 million contract that gave PSINet the right to name the stadium, according to a filing last week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York. The agreement would also terminate $76 million in sponsorship and luxury-suite contracts.
PSINet would receive a $5.9 million partial reimbursement for what it has paid to have its name on the 69,000-plus-seat stadium.
Calls to PSINet seeking comment on the deal, which requires approval from the bankruptcy court, were not immediately returned. A hearing on the motion is scheduled for Feb. 28.
PSINet of Ashburn, Va., filed in May for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company sells Internet services to businesses.
Under the agreement, the Ravens would reclaim their right to sell the stadium's naming privileges to another sponsor.
"In the past, PSINet was a highly regarded company by its customers, and it was a company you wanted to be associated with," said Kevin Byrne, a spokesman for the Ravens. "We don't have any regrets in working with them."
A number of firms interested in buying the naming rights have approached the Ravens, but have been put on hold until the PSINet agreement is terminated, Byrne said.
"Ideally, when this is over, we will have a company that not only wants its name on the stadium, but some company that can offer benefits to our fans, as PSINet continues to do," he said, noting that PSINet helped develop the Ravens' Web site and continues to host it.
In addition to losing their Internet service provider, a name change would require the Ravens to overhaul their marketing operations and interior decoration.
The team would have to bear the cost of removing the PSINet name and logo from the stadium; advertising and promotional materials; souvenir cups, napkins and cup holders; and uniforms for the marching band, mascot, cheerleaders, security staff and concession workers.