An executive with the Joliet Slammers said Tuesday that he got approval from the city even before entering into a naming rights deal that has become an ongoing controversy.
The amount of money the city gets from the naming rights agreement with DuPage Medical Group for the city-owned stadium has not been disclosed, even to City Council members.
“We met with the city beforehand and got a verbal approval to do the deal,” John Wilson, vice president of sales and marketing for the Slammers told the City Council Stadium Committee. “The city manager approved to do this.”
Wilson said the naming rights deal was finalized in May.
Interim City Manager Martin Shanahan and the Slammers have not disclosed how much money DuPage Medical Group is paying for the naming rights or the length of the agreement.
Council members are saying they need to approve the agreement, which council member Michael Turk said will be difficult without seeing it.
“The city owns the stadium, and we’re getting some revenue,” Turk said. “But we don’t know how much and how to track that revenue.”
The Slammers’ lease with the city splits naming rights revenue between the team and the city. But the naming rights agreement has not been made public.
City officials and council members also are concerned that the new DuPage Medical Group Field name does not take into account the Joliet Route 66 Stadium name given to the stadium by ordinance in 2017.
City Clerk Christa Desiderio said the intention was to give the stadium a “permanent name” while allowing naming rights for the field inside the stadium to be sold.
The Slammers now are calling the stadium DuPage Medical Group Field.