Pirates, PNC agree to 10-year extension of stadium naming rights deal for PNC Park

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Kevin Gorman, The Tribune-Review, Greensburg
·3 min read
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Mar. 4—PNC Park is keeping its name on Pittsburgh's baseball stadium for another decade.

The Pittsburgh Pirates and PNC Bank announced Thursday morning a 10-year extension to their naming rights deal to the stadium, which has been considered one of the gems in MLB since it opened in 2001. Financial terms were not disclosed. As part of the agreement, the PNC Park logo will be updated throughout signs on the stadium.

The two sides previously agreed to an extension on the window of negotiations for the original $30-million, 20-year naming rights agreement, which expired after the 2020 season.

"Simply put, the Pittsburgh Pirates are our hometown baseball team, and as Pittsburgh's hometown bank, we believe the opportunity to renew our agreement makes a great deal of sense," Lou Cestello, head of regional markets for Pittsburgh/Southwestern Pennsylvania and regional president of PNC in Pittsburgh, said in a statement. "Our relationship with the Pirates is a natural fit, as our two organizations share a focus on providing opportunities for those in our community to succeed, especially young children and families."

Pirates president Travis Williams negotiated the original deal when he served as outside legal counsel while working for Reed Smith, and has a long-standing relationship with Cestello and PNC Financial Services CEO Bill Demchak. Premier Partnerships, which consults with the Pirates on commercial strategy, served as advisors to the Pirates on the PNC Park naming rights renewal.

"It is an honor for us to begin the next chapter with PNC. We have long been proud of the relationship between our two brands, and are pleased that PNC shares our optimism in the new course we have set as an organization," Pirates president Travis Williams said. "The spirit of this agreement reaches well beyond the ballpark. PNC's shared pride in our city and commitment to make a difference in our community remains an important aspect of our work together."

As a third-inning guest on the AT&T SportsNet telecast of the Pirates' Grapefruit League game against the Atlanta Braves at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Fla., Cestello said the bank is "thrilled" with the news and that he has received emails all day from employees and clients celebrating the deal to continue with the naming rights.

"We could not be more excited to move forward another 10 years with what we think is the greatest ballpark in America," Cestello said. "It's really near and dear to our heart. It needs to be PNC Park. It's a big part of Pittsburgh, PNC is a big part of Pittsburgh — our corporate headquarters are here — and we could not be more thrilled to continue the partnership with the Nuttings (ownership) and with the Pirates. ...

"We need Pittsburgh to be a major-league city, and the Pirates are such a cornerstone of making that happen."

Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kevin by email at kgorman@triblive.com or via Twitter .