Sta­dium nam­ing wrongs

AD­DING A SPON­SOR’S NAME TO A STA­DIUM CAN RUIN THE PRESTIGE AND HIS­TORY OF A SPORT­ING VENUE … BUT GEEZ THE EX­TRA COIN MUST BE HANDY ...

Inside Sport - - PUB Debate -

In 1998, 45 US bigleague venues had a cor­po­rate com­pany as part of their of­fi­cial name. To­day, there are 114 such cases.

af­ter 1 b eer REASONED AR­GU­MENTS HO HUM

If big com­pa­nies are will­ing to fork out mil­lions just so they can have their logo on a build­ing, and have their own cor­po­rate box at the footy, I reckon good on them. It’s not re­ally hurt­ing any­one, is it? No one ac­tu­ally calls it 1300 Smiles Sta­dium in con­ver­sa­tion any­way. Peo­ple still just re­fer to the Cow­boys’ home ground as “Townsville”. This is­sue got dredged up when the horse rac­ing peo­ple wanted to project rac­ing ad­ver­tis­ing onto the Syd­ney Opera House. I mean, peo­ple are be­ing a bit pre­cious, aren’t they? It’s the Opera House. It only opened in the 1970s. It’s not as if it’s an an­cient relic that was be­ing poi­soned by gam­bling money. Peo­ple re­ally need to move on from this. It’s just an­other form of ad­ver­tis­ing.

IF Y OU’RE A RO­MAN­TIC

Ad­ding a spon­sor’s brand to a sta­dium name can re­ally ruin the a‡rac­tion of go­ing to watch sport there. I mean, who is go­ing to go to Mend-A-Hose Jun­gle and be proud of it? Whel­don Road, the Castle­ford Tigers rugby league team’s home ground, opened way back in 1926 and has a lovely old orig­i­nal ti­tle, wouldn’t you agree? But all that’s ru­ined now. That new name makes it sound like you’re vis­it­ing a hard­ware store.

af­ter 2 b eers DIVERSIONARY TANGENTS HEALTHY FU­TURE

Doesn’t a nam­ing rights sale mean that the sta­dium’s short and/or long-term ex­is­tence is se­cured? Most of our favourite sports venues only have a few days of the year to fi­nan­cially ben­e­fit from – I’m talk­ing about ticket sales and the like. I’d reckon the ex­tra in­come would be very handy for main­tain­ing the up­keep of sta­di­ums; clean­ing, field main­te­nance etc. These sta­di­ums cost a lot more to run than you might think.

NAME FOR S ALE

This whole nam­ing rights busi­ness is com­pletely out of con­trol. Take the USA for in­stance. In 1998, 45 bigleague venues over there had a cor­po­rate com­pany as part of their of­fi­cial name. To­day, there are 114 such cases. It’s be­yond a joke now. Kids one day will be lov­ingly re­fer­ring to the days when their dads took them to Al­lianz Sta­dium and Hisense Arena. It’s just not right.

af­ter 3 b eers R A ISED VOICE S JUST WRONG

These nam­ing deals don’t al­ways end well. In Fe­bru­ary 2011, Farm­ers In­sur­ance Group an­nounced it had signed a 30-year, $700 mil­lion nam­ing-rights deal for a pro­posed NFL sta­dium in down­town LA. AEG, the sta­dium’s de­vel­oper, scu‡led the plan in 2015. Damn ... Here’s an­other one: to pre­vent the St. Louis Rams from mov­ing to the West Coast, in Oc­to­ber 2015 Na­tional Car Rental an­nounced a 20-year, $158 mil­lion deal to a‡ach its name to a pro­posed new sta­dium in St. Louis. The Rams ended up opt­ing for Cal­i­for­nia.

BRAND B ALL

This is just rich peo­ple pu‡ing their paw­prints all over our great sports venues. Lo‡oland? Re­ally? Credit Union Aus­tralia Sta­dium Penrith, any­one? I couldn’t be­lieve they called Penrith Park that. And how many names has Cronulla’s home had over the years? Cal­tex, South­ern Cross Group; it’s a gi­ant bill­board!

af­ter 4 b eers IM­PROB­A­BLE HY­PO­THET­I­CALS OUR HOUSE

There’s a cricket ground in In­dia called Dr Y.S. Ra­jasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Sta­dium. Can you be­lieve that? Now, I bet the good Doc loves his cricket and is very gen­er­ous, but why does his name have to be a‡ached to the ground? Isn’t char­ity sup­posed to be anony­mous? Each to their own, I sup­pose, but that’s ge‡ing ridicu­lous. Only legends de­serve to have their names on sta­di­ums.

BUILD A BRIDGE

Oh again, it’s a build­ing, it’s not your first-born. Get over it. Most of what we do in our daily lives is cov­ered in ad­ver­tis­ing. If the sta­dium man­age­ment has cho­sen to take the money from a nam­ing rights spon­sor, that “prestige” can’t have been all that strong to start with. You can’t blame the com­pa­nies for want­ing their name out there on game day. Come along now, we have to get to Marvel Sta­dium be­fore first bounce!

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