December 1, 2006
Stadium Naming Rights: It Could Be Worse
I have been following the furor over two new stadium names for some time. The first is the exasperation over the new CitiField name for Mets stadium, which one irate blogger has dubbed “Sh*tty Field” and has left another blogger to get nostalgic about the Good Ole Days at Shea’s when naming was “pure”.
These guys have company: bloggers in Salt Lake City are up in arms this week over the new name for Delta Center: Energy Solutions Arena, named after a company that deals in nuclear waste disposal. A formal protest was held and one activist has called for a total boycott of the Energy Solutions’ CEO’s various holdings. Bloggers have been calling it the “Radium Stadium”, with one TV station inviting alternate names that included "Tox Box", "The Fallout Shelter", "Radiation Station,” and "HazMat Center".
My feeling on the matter is that things could be far worse.
For starters, people in Colorado were a little worried about the new stadium that Dick’s Sporting Goods has won naming rights to being developed as the home of Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids which is slated to be the largest soccer complex in the world and will be called “Dicks Sporting Goods Park.” That’s actually not nearly as bad as what it could have been. In fact, that’s fine.
There is worry that a new stadium in Southeast Washington could be named after Marion Barry. At least these people stand a sporting chance. A great post on Who Ate All The Bratwurst lists “Ten Funny Football Stadium Names” that are to be found around the world. These include:
- Wankdorf Stadium - Young Boys (Switzerland)
- Kuntz Stadium - Indiana Blast (USA)
- Bargain Booze Stadium - Witton Albion (England)
And at one point, Louisville was going to get “The Bucket” when YUM Foods (who own KFC) were thinking about buying naming rights to the pro basketball arena.
So, Mets Fans and the good people of Salt Lake City, it seems to me, have very little to complain about. I’m actually a little surprised that a company with the word “Energy” in it can’t pull this off with more panache. I have to wonder if there would have been such an outcry if the name had been, simply, "The Energy Arena”.
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