How does ‘TCF Field’ sound?

Selling naming rights to a new stadium is a necessity, and TCF would be a good choice.

While no one will confirm it, the common rumor is that University officials are in negotiations with TCF Financial Corp. over naming rights to a new on-campus football stadium. The State Legislature will be hearing the University’s stadium proposal today.

The discussed amount, $35 million from TCF Financial Corp., would name the corporation lead sponsor, likely giving the company naming rights of the stadium and advertising space within or around the facility. Though it is hard to accept the stadium might be commercially named something along the lines of “TCF Field,” the University is right to pursue such a sponsor.

It is unfortunate the stadium will have to be so commercialized. In a perfect world, there would be more public funding available or the University could raise money from donors without having to sell the naming rights. But in reality, this is needed, at least under the current financial reality facing the state. Receiving $35 million from TCF Financial Corp. is clearly preferable to requiring students to cover this amount (possibly in addition to what we will still have to fork over).

Also, TCF Financial Corp. would be a good pick for a lead sponsor. It already works closely with the University and is locally based. Our only objection is the amount. Aren’t the naming rights to an on-campus stadium worth more than $35 million? That’s a huge sum, but it could arguably be bigger.

The stadium’s cost is estimated to reach $235 million, and the state isn’t exactly going to just hand over the funds. The University hopes to raise 60 percent of the cost of the stadium, or approximately $141 million. $35 million from TCF Financial Corp. would add to help the University achieve that goal.

The University will hopefully make an announcement of a lead sponsor before the hearing today. It would add momentum to the effort by showing legislators the University is already working hard on holding its part of the $235 million deal.

Whether it comes today or later, hopefully, the University can find a corporation suitable to the community and willing to contribute sufficient funds. If the word on the street proves true, TCF Financial Corp. fits that bill.