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monsoon

Name Public Facilities after Corporations?

Name Public Facilities after Corporations?   51 members have voted

  1. 1. Should cities sell naming rights of public venues to corporations

    • No
      27
    • Yes
      24

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If you go in most American cities today you will find a sports venue and usually more with the name of a corporation stuck on it such as Bank of America Stadium. The obvious reason for this is money. Corporations pay cities money to get their names on these very public places. However is this such a good deal for the cities at hand. How do people get a sense of place and a city establishes an identity when its most public places are named after corporations and they change every so often?

So the question is, should cities sell naming rights of public facilities to corporations?

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While I can understand the economic reasons for doing this, the trend is unsettling. I prefer that public venues should have a sense of place. Didn't Houston have an embarrassing problem after the implosion of Enron? In Washington, people still refer to the MCI Center long after its name was changed to the Verizon Center- at least I think it's still called that now...Both names say nothing of its location in downtown Washington. It might as well be in Dubuque.

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just an example of some names that don't work, or seem too odd.

Jenny Craig Center (basketball USD)

QuickenLoans Center (Cleveland Cavs)

Dunkin' Donuts Center ( Providence College Basketball)

Rose Garden Arena (utah jazz)

Energy Solutions Arena (portland trailblazzers)

those are the ones off of the top of my head that are just horrible names.

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The Jenny Craig Center? I can just imagine the jokes that fly around San Diego about that one!

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Bank of America stadium isn't the best example because it was built privately.

While the name can sometimes be quite tacky, I haven't a problem with it. It's an easy way for the owner to make money without any real cost. I do prefer for the stadium to be named after a person, or the place, however.

Has anyone seen Idiocracy? Hopefully we don't get like that, "The Secretary of State, brought to you by Carl's Jr".

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I think if locally-based corporations buy naming rights to venues, it can be a good display of civic involvement.

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A lot of baseball stadiums tend to stay clear of corporate naming at least.

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A lot of baseball stadiums tend to stay clear of corporate naming at least.

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Id love to rename Comerica Park in Detroit. I love the stadium, its a great facility. But, Comerica bank just announced that its moving its HQ to Dallas, which is rediculous since it only has 10 branches in Dallas, but has dozens in Detroit and 241 in Michigan. If it turns its back on the place that gave birth to, then they have no respect from me, and i will NOT be reffering to the stadium as Comerica Park any more.

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How many places do people not colloquially refer to their field/stadium/arena by it's corporate name? In Providence we have the Dunkin Donuts Center, but everyone calls it The Dunk, which could be a euphemism for the basketball played there if one didn't know better. In Boston, the former Fleet Center (former Shawmut Center) became the TD BankNorth Boston Garden after Bank of America declined to pick up Fleet Bank's naming rights. So people have reverted to calling it The Garden, which the old building was called. Between here and Boston is a performance venue called the Tweeter Center (which is named after an electronics retailer) but many people still refer to it as it's original name, Great Woods, or simply Mansfield, the town it is in.

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Id love to rename Comerica Park in Detroit. I love the stadium, its a great facility. But, Comerica bank just announced that its moving its HQ to Dallas, which is rediculous since it only has 10 branches in Dallas, but has dozens in Detroit and 241 in Michigan. If it turns its back on the place that gave birth to, then they have no respect from me, and i will NOT be reffering to the stadium as Comerica Park any more.

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Just a thought. In the gilded age public facilities were named after the super afluent because they had the money and power to be movers and shakers. Well in the modern world, there are still rich people. But they have nothing compared to the Vanderbilts or the Rockfellers. Today, its the muilti-national corporations that are the movers and shakers. Its only natural that they would see their names emblazoned on public faculities. The point is that who ever has money and power gets the lasting legacy.

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Naming rights used to irritate far more than they do now. I guess I got used to it. When Seahawk Stadium changed over to Qwest Field it took about a year for me to use the proper name but I do it now without a second thought. I think it would be harder if a stadium's name was old and then forced a change...like say if Soldier Field suddenly became Frito-Lay Field. It just wouldn't work.

Some names are bizarre. The Morton people wanted to buy the naming rights for the new stadium in Phoenix and call the stadium the Pink Taco but they were rebuffed. So now the NFL stadium is called the University of Phoenix Stadium. Sort of goofy.

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I'd prefer that they not, but I don't get very worked up over it anymore. In Houston I did make a point of never referring to the [Reliant] Astrodome as such. For newly built facilities, far better if the sponser just paid for the stadium period without expecting public funding, and name it whatever they please. Since many facilities do get public money I consider it a discount. I would prefer the local color of more aptly-named stadiums such as Soldier Field, the Rose Bowl, etc.

On a related note, does anyone find the corporate branding of football bowl games creepy and myopic? I'm not a big football fan so this affects me very little, no break with tradition for me. But really - where the hell is the FedEx Bowl? Or the Papa John's Pizza Bowl? I seem to remember a phase with "FedEx Orange Bowl" co-branding and whatnot but now that seems gone. And not that I really care, but it seems wildly self-destructive over time. What team cares about making it all the way to the Geico Bowl?

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Not a fan of corporate naming personally, but I understand the economics/politics of selling the naming rights though, esp. when cities get enough flack for building new arenas and stadiums as it is. It seems classier when stadiums had classier sounding names based on/around the city name, famous citizens, and/or owners of the facilities/teams.

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I recently saw a History Channel:Modern Marvels episode on the Roman Coliseum. Apparently in it's day it had a different name (i'm sorry i can remember specific facts) which was the name of an affluent family. There are to this day large engravings near the floor of names which can be considered "sponsorship". Only until recent times has it ben known as "The Coliseum"

As far as my experience it is limited to the Nashville Venues;

Football stadium/home of Titans: The building began as "The Coliseum", which then became "Adelphia Coliseum". Adelphia is a communications company which doesn't even serve the Nashville area. Then Adelphia droped the sponsorship, and the building reverted back to just "Coliseum". Currently it is "LP Field" for the company Louisiana-Pacific. Now for those of you not knowing the geography, Nashville is very far from Louisiana, and 2 time zones from the Pacific. Although the company is now based in Nashville, the name just doesn't fit. Jack Daniels, a world famous Tennessee based brewer was rejected for whatever reason(possibly faith-based politics). Most people just refer to it as "The Coliseum".

Hockey arena/home of the Predators: Began as the Nashville Arena. Gaylord Entertainment (a Nashville based Corp.) picked up the naming rights and it became the "Gaylord Entertainment Center" or GEC(sounds like; gh'k). Several years ago Gaylord quit the sponsorship with the terms that the building would hold the name until a new sponsor was added. After two years of free advertising for Gaylord, the Predators (as of last week) have reverted back to "Nashville Arena". Most hockey fans know it as the "HOP" (house of Predators), although concert goers not familiar with hockey still call it the "GEC".

In short, I don't have a problem with corporate sponsors, however, the constant name changing truly takes the identity away from the sacred surfaces. This might be just a Nashville problem, but it is getting annoying. Keep in mind that both of these facilities are just over 10 years old!

just my local observation.

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in addition i know many fans of the Arizona Cardinals must be frustrated. The team has always had the embarrasing stigma of being the only NFL franchise to call a college stadium home(i believe the Univ. of Arizona). Now that the team finally has a brand new (beautiful!) NFL stadium of their own, they also get a new sponsor. The name of the new stadium.....The University of Phoenix Stadium. Ha! How embarrasing.

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Winston-Salem, where I live, is looking into the possibility of selling the naming rights to our Coliseum/Fairgrounds complex. The Coliseum here, when built the first facility many decades ago, was to be dedicated to the veterans from the area. It was originally referred to as "Veterans Memorial Coliseum" and the fairgrounds have always been the "Dixie Classic Fairgrounds." When the new coliseum was built, the name was amended to include the name of the most decorated local born veteran so we now have the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum (and that was controversial as well, but that's another story.) I personally think our local leaders would have their heads served up on a platter if they removed the "Veterans" reference from our Coliseum.

Otherwise, if the venue is just named "venue" or "city's venue", I don't see much harm as it helps that facitilty generate additional income.

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In Hartford, CT what was known as the Meadows Music Theater for years was recently renamed the New England Dodge Music Center. This doesnt really bother me that much. Its a huge indoor/outdoor complex that hosts tons of big name shows each year like the Dave Matthews Band for example thats located just north of downtown in the citys industrialized North Meadows.

What does bother me though is that the city was considering selling the naming rights to the historic Union Station downtown. Union Stations is the citys bus and train station that is also home to office space and some restaurants. This is a historic building in the city that has a lot of character and naming it Chase Station or CitiBank Station or Ford Station or something does not sit well with me

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My only concerns with using corporate names is that if they are using their money, then they can use that to determine policies of local government more than normal. could you imagine a large bank determining the curriculum of the local school that is named after it? and decided to withhold monies if its demands are not met? or some candy company wanting to push its products in the school named after it?

redclay

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In the public domain, I say no, but if it's in the private sector, then I say go for it; it's their right. You run into a grey area, though, with stadiums and arenas, since they're privately owned but often publically financed.

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I don't know if anyone previously pointed it out, but the Cleveland Cavaliers play in the "Quicken Loans Arena." Man, nothing gets me more excited for a basketball game than thinking about all the money I owe... <_<

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I don't think many cities can afford not to sell those rights.

I personally can't wait for the Valtrex Center or the Viagra Dome.

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Naming public buildings after corporations could be somewhat costly and confusing. Considering the number of mergers and acquisitions of corporations these days, the cost of signage replacement and confusion resulting from name changing landmarks could be prohibitive. With a foreign acquisition, the problem could be magnified by names that are difficult to pronounce...or mis-pronounced. Could a public library or auditorium be mistaken for a foreign embassy? Hmmmm?

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I have several opinions on this. First of all, if you're going to sell the naming rights to your stadium or whatever, it should be permanent. I don't like having to re-learn names and re-associate stadiums with different names. Example: I grew up going to concerts at the BlockBuster Pavillion in Charlotte. Then they sold the naming rights and now its called the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, which is not only more difficult to say, its more annoying too.

The situation where its acceptable to me is when the buyer's company has a pleasant sounding name, and especially if that name is a local company. Example: In Columbia, USC built the Carolina Center, which was an arena for the Gamecocks basketball, but also served as a new performance venue for Columbia. Shortly after it was built they sold the naming rights to Colonial Life Insurance. The arena is now called the Colonial Center, which IMO is a very pleasing name. It doesn't scream "brought to you by...." but it still serves the same purpose. I still had to adjust to the name change, but I just don't object to it like I would if the rights had been bought by SCE&G or something more wordy.

Finally, if the public's money is involved as a plurality or majority investor then there should never be naming rights sold.

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