Philadelphia sports fans and other Broad Street Line riders could be getting off at "AT&T Station" by August to attend events at the South Philly stadium complex.
The SEPTA board is expected next week to approve a historic $5 million deal to rename Pattison Avenue station for the telecommunications giant.
"Pattison Avenue station" will cease to exist on SEPTA signage and maps, although Pattison Avenue will remain Pattison Avenue and the Phillies' beloved catcher, Carlos Ruiz, will not change his name to "AT&T Presents Chooch!"
As first reported by PlanPhilly.com, SEPTA's five-year renaming contract with AT&T will pump more than $3 million into the transit agency's cash-strapped operating budget. The rest will go to SEPTA's advertising agency, Titan Outdoor LLC.
AT&T spokesman Adam Cormier told the Daily News that the renaming makes sense because "we are the only wireless carrier that has service underground in the Broad Street and Market-Frankford lines.
"The huge advantage we have over our competition is that our customers can maintain a phone call from the sidewalk down into a SEPTA station and during the subway ride to their destination," Cormier said.
"So naming the sports and entertainment complex station 'AT&T Station' is a natural fit for us," he said. "You can't go far in Philly and not feel some kind of tie to one of the sports teams."
SEPTA spokesman Richard Maloney said that when the Legislature passed Act 44 (the transportation reform act) in 2007, one of the recommendations was that SEPTA expand its advertising revenue.
"We've done considerable expansion of advertising in Market Street East and Suburban stations, we expanded bus advertising, and now we are renaming Pattison Avenue station," he said.
Maloney declined to discuss SEPTA's other station-renaming efforts except to say that "this is the first one that's borne fruit" and "we are interested in doing this again in the future."