Spanish bank Banco Santander's plans to acquire Sovereign Bancorp have left the future name of York City's Sovereign Bank Stadium, home to the York Revolution, up in the air.

Sovereign, which has 15 branches in York County, penned a contract with the Revolution in August 2006 for naming rights to the city's ballpark. Under the $2.7 million deal, Sovereign would pay the Revolution in installments for 10 years.

The Madrid-based Banco Santander on Monday said it is buying the three-quarters stake in Philadelphia-based thrift Sovereign Bancorp Inc. that it doesn't already own for $1.9 billion.

The Spanish bank already had a nearly 25 percent stake in Sovereign and will buy the rest with stock valued at about $3.81 for each share of Sovereign, a premium of 3.5 percent to Sovereign's closing price on Monday.

The deal, which had been rumored earlier in the day, was announced after trading closed Monday. Sovereign's shares fell 13 cents to $3.68 in the regular trading session but jumped 16 cents in after-hours trading following the announcement.

At the stadium: York Revolution General Manager Matt O'Brien said it's too early to say for certain what will become of the money or the stadium's name.

"I guess it's tough to speculate because we don't know the terms of the buyout. Our naming rights would be transferred to whomever," he said Monday afternoon. "We're just going to sit back and watch. We'll look at it when the whole thing's finalized."

Sovereign spokesman Andrew Gully was similarly tight-lipped.


"We will not be discussing anything else beyond" Sovereign's Monday news releases, he said. "Anything else would be extremely premature."

O'Brien called Sovereign an excellent partner and said he assumes Banco Santander will be just as supportive.

"We assume any new partner that is brought about by a sale would be a great community partner like Sovereign Bank has been," he said.

Like many U.S. banks, Sovereign Bancorp has been pummeled by rising mortgage delinquencies as the housing market tumbles. Its stock has lost nearly two-thirds of its value in the year to date.

--The Associated Press contributed to this report. Reach Peter Mergenthaler at 505-5439 or