A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Friday that insurance giant MetLife has finalized a deal to buy the naming rights for the $1.6 billion stadium that will be the site of the 2014 Super Bowl.
The person asked not to be identified because the agreement between the New York-based company and the NFL teams has not been announced. A news conference is planned next week, the person told The AP.
The New York Post was the first to report the deal was finalized on Friday, saying it as worth $20 million annually for 20 years. But the person who confirmed the deal to The AP said those numbers were not totally accurate.
"We don't comment on rumor or speculation," MetLife spokesman Chris Breslin said in an email to The AP.
The teams, who privately built the stadium that has been known as New Meadowlands Stadium since opening last year, had no comment.
Sports Business Daily reported in late June that MetLife was in advanced talks to buy the naming rights for $17 million annually.
MetLife currently pays about $7 million annually to be one of four cornerstone sponsors for the stadium that opened last year. It would drop that position if it acquired the naming rights, opening a sponsorship for another company. The other cornerstone partners are Verizon, Anheuser-Busch and PepsiCo.
The Giants and Jets were close to a deal with Allianz in 2008 that would have been worth an estimated $30 million annually. Negotiations, however, ended when it was disclosed the that the German insurance company once had ties to the Nazis, a revelation that brought criticism from Jewish organizations, Holocaust survivors and some football fans.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press