When U2 Plays the Sports Arena

When U2 plays the Sports Arena on March 28, the venue will have a new name: the iPayOne Center -- a discount real estate brokerage in Carlsbad that has agreed to pay $2.5 million for a five-year name rights license, with the city getting ten percent. After that, if iPayOne still wants its name there, it will cost the firm $500,000 a year, again with ten percent going to the city. The deal was approved by the San Diego city council by a 6--2 vote on Monday, March 14.

Councilmembers Jim Madaffer and Tony Young voted against the name change. Michael Zucchet, a councilman who voted for the name change, said, "Tony Young actually changed his vote. He said it was a mistake; he pushed the wrong button. He filed his change of vote with the city clerk the next day. Jim Madaffer voted for the deal in 2002 but against it in 2005, which doesn't make any sense, and I let him know it."

Madaffer's comment on the matter was "It's chump change for the taxpayers of San Diego."

Although Zucchet approved this Sports Arena name change (which has been in the works since April 2002 -- before he was elected), he claimed, "I disapprove of it. Ten percent is a bad deal for city-owned property. But opposing it would lead to a lawsuit that the city wouldn't win. The council's only say in the matter was to find a sponsor that wasn't improper or offensive."

He said the ten percent revenue would go into the general fund.

iPayOne was created last March by several mortgage and escrow companies -- Loanisland, Blue Water Financial, Palomar Realty, and Blue Water Realty.

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