Nextel sponsors Las Vegas monorail

Posted on November 17, 2003

Nextel Communications Inc. will announce this week a 12-year deal, worth an estimated $50 million, to attach its name on the monorail station at the Las Vegas Convention Center and one of the nine trains in the city's light rail system.

According to the Los Angeles Times, marketing experts said they believe this is the first time a transit system has sold the naming rights to a station. At least two other locations may follow suit.

Last summer, a Minnesota funding bill for a light rail line authorized officials of Metro Transit in Minneapolis to sell naming rights for station stops. In Seattle, a naming rights deal that could include stations, lines and cars was the topic of a recent Sound Transit finance committee meeting.

The estimated $50 million for the Las Vegas deal, according to people familiar with the transaction, includes about $16 million from Nextel to pay for construction of the main station. In addition, monorail riders will funnel past a 15,000-square-foot Nextel Pavilion, which will include a retail store and a business center with a 30-seat theater.

The monorail is scheduled to start service in January with several extensions planned. In addition to Nextel, Las Vegas Monorail has signed Hansen's Beverage Co.'s Monster Energy drink as the sponsor of one of the nine trains. It also says it is negotiating train and station naming deals with Coca-Cola Co., Bacardi, Motorola Inc. and General Motors Corp.

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