University of Minnesota sells naming rights to Mariucci Arena

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 10: The Minnesota Golden Gophers celebrate after Justin Holl
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 10: The Minnesota Golden Gophers celebrate after Justin Holl /

The Minnesota Golden Gophers grab naming rights for Mariucci Arena via 3M.

Minnesota Golden Gopher hockey fans will no longer be attending games at Mariucci Arena. No, instead the puckheads in the State of Hockey will be going to games at 3M Arena at Mariucci. The University of Minnesota announced the deal with 3M on Monday morning, first via a press release and later a press conference.

The deal with 3M is for 14 years and $11.2 million dollars. Again, 3M also gets the naming rights to Mariucci Arena with the switch of the name to 3M Arena at Mariucci.

Athletics Director Mark Coyle said this about the U’s partnership with 3M via the press release:

"“Today’s announcement brings together three names instantly recognizable across Minnesota – Mariucci, Gopher Hockey and 3M – and that’s certainly exciting. This sponsorship will have a broad impact across our athletics department by supporting construction of our new Athletes Village. By partnering with us, 3M is investing in every current and future Gopher student-athlete, the future leaders of our state. 3M will be a big reason why each of those young men and women have a first-class experience at Minnesota that prepares them for the rest of their lives.”"

Minnesota nicely covered their butts with a statement from the Mariucci family. On behalf of the family, John Mariucci Jr. gave a statement in the press release:

"“Our father and grandfather was a life-long Minnesotan, and would have been thrilled to see 3M showing so much support for the University and for men’s hockey. To have 3M, one of Minnesota’s most respected and well-known brands, be a part of the rich history of Gopher hockey and the Mariucci legacy is exciting. We are happy that 3M and the U felt it was important to continue honoring our father and grandfather’s legacy and kept the Mariucci name tied to the arena. It’s a privilege for our family to be so closely associated with two of Minnesota’s most recognizable and important institutions.”"

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There are not a whole lot of negatives to be seen for this deal .Sure, the arena’s name gets changed, but fans are still going to call it Mariucci. No one other than TV and radio broadcasts will actually go with the formal name of 3M Arena at Mariucci.

I’m not going to act like I know anything about naming rights, but I’d think the U should’ve been able to get a million a year for naming rights instead of $800,000 per. Either way, the University still won’t sneeze at essentially a $11.2 million dollar donation.

Get ready for some hot puck action at 3M Arena at Mariucci. Maybe the Gophers will turn their classic maroon into 3M red?

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