Madison attorney calls on City Council to renegotiate with Trash Pandas

MADISON, AL (WAFF) - On Monday, a Madison attorney called on the City Council to leverage the name of the city’s new minor league baseball team.

Greg Revera said Madison can get a better deal from team owner BallCorps if it uses the opportunity its been given by the name Rocket City Trash Pandas.

Madison’s contract with BallCorps requires the City Council to approve any name to the baseball team if it doesn’t include “Madison.”

Revera said the city should ask for concessions from BallCorps.

He cited two different examples.

Revera said for the first four years, the city does not have to pay into a capital maintenance fund if a yearly revenue target is not met. Revera said the Council should look into expanding that to five or more years.

Secondly, he said the current contract requires BallCorps to pay Madison if year attendance at games exceeds 250,000 spectators. Revera said the threshold should be lowered below 200,000

“That’s just business negotiations. We have something to negotiate with, and we want to negotiate with it,” he said.

Revera also expressed concern on the name’s association with Rocket Raccoon, a Marvel Studios character. Rocket is a raccoon referred to as a “trash panda” as an insult in a recent film.

He said the city could be susceptible to lawsuits, and the contract with BallCorps could provide insurance.

"One of the things the city needs to be concerned about is intellectual property, and there is no insurance or indemnity provision in the contract," he said.

Mayor Paul Finley said the Council would debate the name at a coming public meeting.

On Monday, BallCorps did present the Council with its findings on the name, which found Madison residents voted for “Rocket City” over “Madison” by 10 percent.

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