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Enron Paying $100M to Name Houston Ballpark

Enron Paying $100M to Name Houston Ballpark

If you build it, a corporate sponsor will come. This time around it's Houston's new baseball stadium and Enron Corp., which said Wednesday it will pay $100 million over 30 years for naming rights to the ballpark to be known as Enron Field. Enron Energy Services (EES) also will provide energy management to the facility.

Under the agreement with the Houston Astros, EES will manage the energy contracts at Enron Field, as well as provide services for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. EES also will administer various subcontracts for maintenance of all mechanical and electrical equipment. In addition, Enron agreed to develop a parking garage adjacent to the ballpark, pending local approvals.

"Enron's ability to provide a total energy and facilities management product for sports facilities will help maintain a first-class ballpark created by the Astros and the Sports Authority in Downtown Houston," said Enron CEO Kenneth L. Lay.

Enron has the potential to earn as much as $200 million for managing energy services over the life of the contract. The agreement is Enron's second sports facilities management agreement. In December, EES said it signed a deal to become the exclusive provider of electricity and facilities management services for the San Francisco Giants. EES is the exclusive electricity provider and energy facilities manager for the Giants through a 10-year commodity agreement and a 15-year management contract for Pacific Bell Park. The two contracts are worth more than $60 million.

"Enron Energy Services' partnership with the Astros further validates our belief that entertainment facilities, especially sports stadiums, represent a tremendous opportunity for our comprehensive energy and facilities management services," said Lou Pai, EES CEO.

Enron Field, which is scheduled to open in April 2000, is leading the revitalization of downtown Houston. The 42,000-seat stadium has been designed as an open-air ballpark with a natural grass playing field and the ability to close a retractable roof and air condition the seating bowl.

Planning on 20 to 30% growth of its Houston work force by 2001, Enron in February announced plans for a 40-story office tower on a downtown Houston city block adjacent to its existing 50-story tower (see Daily GPI Feb. 3, 1999).

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