Is it legal to sell naming rights to a historic landmark building?

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Is it legal to sell naming rights to a historic landmark building?

The organization I work for owns a national historic landmark building, a historic theater that’s been around for a long time. We’ve considered selling the naming rights to the building, much in the same way stadiums throughout the country frequently do (i.e., the Staples Center, Minute Maid Park, 3Com Park, etc.). Plenty of places do it all the time. But I’m looking wondering if it’s legal and/or possible to sell naming rights to a building that’s been given National Historic Landmark status.

Asked on February 29, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A building that is given National Historic Landmark status can have its name sold. The status as a historic landmark gives the structure other benefits such as benefits for repairs, improved property values and the like under the federal landmark status program.

The problem from a practical point in re-naming a federal landmark is that its new name may cause some sense of confusion with the public.


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