- The Washington Times - Friday, April 8, 2005

THEWASHINGTON TIMES

Mark Tuohey, chairman of the D.C. Sports & Entertainment Commission, said yesterday he expects to complete a partial naming rights deal for RFK Stadium by Monday.

As many as three bidders are believed still in play for the contract, though Tuohey declined to name them. The sports commission is seeking $1.5 million to $2 million a year in a deal that will place a corporate name before the RFK Stadium moniker.

“We’re in a very sensitive period, and are dealing with several entities. But I expect to get this wrapped up over the weekend,” Tuohey said.

Much of the revenue from the naming rights contract, which is being pursued with the involvement and blessing of Robert F. Kennedy’s widow, Ethel, will go to District youth and recreation facilities.

Meanwhile, Tuohey and the sports commission are facing pressure from Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C. Delegate, over efforts to place a permanent sign at RFK calling for the District to receive full, voting representation in Congress.

Tuohey said he is reluctant to simply accept the sign for fear of creating a legal opening for all types of political advertising at the stadium. Holmes, appearing yesterday on WTOP-AM, said it would be “pathetic” if the sign is not able to be displayed.

“I’m not going to put the sports commission in a position where they can get sued over this,” Tuohey said. “We’ll figure something out, but right now I don’t know what the answer is.”

— Eric Fisher

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