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Name change expected for Pullman Park

November 7, 2013 News Extra

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Historic Pullman Park may get a new name.

The city Parks, Recreation Grounds and Facilities Authority, which manages the park, is in negotiations to sell the naming rights of the baseball field to Kelly Automotive, according to Art Cordwell, a member of the authority’s board of directors.

The proposed name would be Kelly Automotive Park.

Cordwell said the length of the deal would be five years, but neither he nor officials at Kelly Automotive would comment on its financial terms because the contract is not finalized.

Cordwell said a deal should be done within a month. If that happens, the name would be changed at the park by the beginning of next baseball season in March.

The authority has been seeking a partner to sell the naming rights to for years, Cordwell said.

“Until recently we weren’t able to find someone to put the money up,” he said.

Brendan Kelly, general manager at Kelly Automotive, said, “It’s always been my father’s philosophy to reinvest in the community as much as possible ... And this (Pullman Park) is just a good fit for (Kelly Automotive). It’s something good for the community. We know people who love to go to those games.”

His father is U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-3rd.

Ed Codi, chairman of the stadium authority board, said putting a corporate name on a sports venue “is certainly nothing new.”

“Seneca Valley’s done it with NexTier Stadium and other high schools have done it,” Codi said. “You do what you can to find revenue to fund these facilities.

“I’ve played at Pullman Park myself. I know the historical significance of it. But the need of increasing revenues has to be our primary focus here.”

The authority has been seeking to sell the naming rights to help balance the budget of the park.

Cordwell said the park is set to lose about $30,000 this year.

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