February 9, 2011

Teams with stadium names that are just too sacred to sacrifice for the big money that comes from selling naming rights.

It's an issue in the Chicago mayoral race:
‘‘Soldier Field is a sacred Chicago landmark that honors our veterans and, as mayor, Gery would be very careful to protect that,’’ said Brooke Anderson, spokeswoman for candidate Gery Chico. ‘‘He would be open to exploring creative ideas that could attract sponsors while preserving the Soldier Field name and stadium to give soldiers the respect they deserve.’’

But Rahm Emanuel, Carol Moseley Braun and Miguel del Valle are adopting the same hard-line stance as Mayor Daley, who insisted the stadium name remain untouched for his support of a $587  million renovation of Soldier Field in 2003.
Teams with stadiums names like "Giants Stadium" and "Cowboy Stadium" are in a much better position to cash in. But maybe it's better to have a name that can't be swapped for a sponsor's name, like Lambeau Field. Then you're not tempted to scramble for the money and end up with a horrible name like "Mall of America Field at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome," which really is the name of the place where the Vikings play. You're Vikings. That's your image. Legendary conquerors... traipsing around the mall with Hubert Humphrey. What a picture!

And I love this grandiose term "metrodome." There are metrodomes, stadiums, and fields. Notice the inverse relationship between grandiosity and greatness.

ADDED: I'm just noticing that Minnesota inserted "field" into its ridiculous new name that still contains "metrodome." Make up your mind. Interesting that the big corporation wanted to associate itself with the old-fashioned charm of "field," while the politician's name is stuck with the overinflated term "metrodome." And I do mean overinflated, because remember how it collapsed? And it's a good word to associate with Hubert Humphrey, since he had quite a large dome of a head.

It has nothing to do with football, but on the subject of Hubert H. Humphrey — Hubert Horatio Humphrey — and names, this is always hilarious:



And as long as I'm descending into Humphrey-related YouTube hell, there's this:

69 comments:

Original Mike said...

When they were considering selling the naming rights for Lambeau Field, I wanted to buy them and name it, "It's Lambeau Field, damn it!".

Not that I have any money.

Original Mike said...

"Mall of America Field at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome"

a.k.a. "The Hump Dome".

Freeman Hunt said...

What about thunderdomes?

E.M. Davis said...

Freeman, this is certainly Beyond Thunderdomes.

Suzy said...

In Denver, it was hard for many people to see Mile High Stadium replaced by Invesco Field at Mile High. It was harder to see Fiddler's Green Amphitheater change to Comfort Dental Amphitheater (yikes!). However, the baseball stadium is Coors Field and that just seems to fit.

shoutingthomas said...

The integrity of Soldier Field was gutted by the renovation some years ago that inserted a plastic and concrete space ship into the old Greek columnar stadium.

So, I don't think that Soldier Field has any integrity left to sacrifice.

rhhardin said...

Debtors in Possession Field.

AllenS said...

Nothing says "field" like fake grass.

WV: reavows

I will reavow that again if you want me to.

k*thy said...

Yes, an overinflated name on an remarkably deflated facility...and there's a decent chance of them moving to LA because of it.

There's something to be said about the history of a place and it's roots. Some organizations get it, some don't.

k*thy said...

Allen, if they're going to extend the season,fake grass has got to be a part of it in these northern parts (i.e. Soldier's Field in late January - wasn't that special).

Original Mike said...

I've been told by more than one friend who has gone to a footbal game in the Hump Dome that the atmosphere is awful. It certainly looks awful on television.

garage mahal said...


Packers fans need to follow proper etiquette while in our state, keeping gloating to a minimum and only during appropriate times.


• Phrases to avoid at all times: "How did that Brett Favre thing work out for you?" ... "You should just give up and come root for the Packers." ... and, most importantly, "I forget. How many Super Bowls have the Vikings won?"

Heh.

Original Mike said...

"Allen, if they're going to extend the season,fake grass has got to be a part of it in these northern parts (i.e. Soldier's Field in late January - wasn't that special)."

Lambeau Field pulls it off.

chickelit said...

We need the likes of Foster Brooks these days. So great that YouTube spreads his cheers in this day and age.

Prost!

Original Mike said...

"Packers fans need to follow proper etiquette while in our state, keeping gloating to a minimum and only during appropriate times."

Dear Vikings: "Fuck you".

Oh. Is that improper?

Tough titties.

Original Mike said...

I've got two words for Viking fans (no, not those two words):

Gary Anderson.

"In 1998, Anderson signed with the Minnesota Vikings and converted all 35 of his attempted field goals and all 59 extra points in regular season play, becoming the first placekicker to finish the regular season with a 100% success rate on both field goals and extra points. However, Anderson would miss his most crucial attempt of the season in the NFC Championship Game vs. the Atlanta Falcons. With the Vikings leading 27-20 with 2:07 left in the 4th quarter, Anderson lined up for a 38-yard field goal to give them a two possession lead. A converted kick would have, barring a miracle, delivered the Vikings to their first Super Bowl in 22 years. The missed kick gave the Falcons a chance, and they took full advantage of it by traveling down the field and scoring the tying touchdown sending the game to overtime. The Falcons would then win the game in overtime on, coincidently, a 38-yard kick by Morten Andersen at almost the same spot. It was a bitter pill to swallow for the Vikings who went 15-1 in the regular season."

AllenS said...

k*thy,

Read what Original Mike just posted.

garage mahal said...

Dear Vikings: "Fuck you".

That works too. I have three close friends that are rabid Viking fans, and let me say, it's been a lot of fun this past month.

AJ Lynch said...

The pols claim they are taking the high road and insist the Bears' owners can't take corporate money for the naming rights to the stadium.

In return, the pols will give the owners millions in taxpayer money.

Sounds like a Win-Win! Only the taxpayers get screwed.

virgil xenophon said...

TOTALLY agree with you about Soldier Field, shoutingthomas.

Calypso Facto said...

I agree, Suzy, that Coors Field and Miller Park fall into both the "sacred" AND "big money naming rights" categories.

OM: The HumpDome is the negative image of Lambeau, in that most seats are lousy for watching the game. As for being named for "Horatio", let's just say I find it appropriate that he's a "blower" too.

garage mahal said...

I've heard there is zero tailgating allowed at the Metrodome. How awesome is that.

Original Mike said...

"I've heard there is zero tailgating allowed at the Metrodome. How awesome is that."

I guess the bad atmosphere spills out into the parking lot. Party poopers.

garage mahal said...

I think you have to be inside the stadium to have a beer.

Jim Howard said...

When I was in high school, round about 1968, I saw HHH speak at an airport rally in Dallas.

This speech made a big impression on me, I came away with two strong convictions:

1) HHH was a very decent man, who was likable and honest. He was cheerful and upbeat, a lot like President Reagan in personality.

2) He said (and I remember this exactly): 'Programs, Programs, Programs! Some of them work, some of them don't, but they all help people!'

This seemed like an insane statement to me, then and now. HHH was telling us that he saw no limit to the size and scope of government, and didn't care how much he spent.

At least he didn't pretend to be conservative. HHH was the second to last honest liberal politician in American history, the last being Mr McGovern.

Sadly we elected Nixon, who grew the government far more aggressively than HHH ever could have.

Why liberals hate Nixon is beyond me. He got us out of Viet Nam.

Nixon fought for a huge universal health care, started EITC, started the EPA, imposed a 55mph speed limit, and championed a powerful Presidency. Nixon had way more in common with Obama than with Reagan.

k*thy said...

Lambeau pulls it off b/c it's got a hybrid of artificial and natural grass. Soldier's Field, doesn't.

AllenS said...

garage,

I've been to tailgate parties at the hump dome. You have to go about 5 or more blocks away to have one in some business parking lot. Nobody else around. The whole thing just sucked. The dome is sucky, sucky, sucky. Even baseball games were strange, looking down into the hole in the ground. The best times for Vikings fans is when the play the Packers and they can go to a real field, a field of champions.

AllenS said...

Oh, and garage, here's something that should warm your little heart. You can take a train to the hump dome from, I think the Mall of America. How cool is that?

garage mahal said...

I've been to tailgate parties at the hump dome. You have to go about 5 or more blocks away to have one in some business parking lot. Nobody else around. The whole thing just sucked.

Blech.

Original Mike said...

"I think you have to be inside the stadium to have a beer."

What fun is that?

Calypso Facto said...

Even baseball games were strange, looking down into the hole in the ground.

But you have to look there, because as soon as a ball rises above the seats, you lose it against the white dome ceiling...

Yes, sucky.

Original Mike said...

Is Trooper awake yet?

Tibore said...

"Original Mike said...
When they were considering selling the naming rights for Lambeau Field, I wanted to buy them and name it, "It's Lambeau Field, damn it!".

Not that I have any money."


That's scary, man. Totally scary. Because I said the exact same thing: When they were talking about the name for what is now known as Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, I told many friends that if I were a billionaire, I'd buy up the naming rights and call it the "Hoosier Dome, dammit", with the "dammit" specifically included in the name. I always hated calling the old playing field the "RCA Dome". And yes, I have friends who witnesses my tirades. It was the exact same one as yours, just for a different fieldhouse.

Of course, the new stadium ended up not being a dome. But I didn't know that at the time I was ranting.

------

Word Verification: myossess. A type of biological process, in the same vein as but still distinct from mytossess.

Original Mike said...

Great minds, ...

edutcher said...

As to stadium names, it's like sponsoring bowl games. Corporations should forgo the name on the label.

Original Mike said...

When they were considering selling the naming rights for Lambeau Field, I wanted to buy them and name it, "It's Lambeau Field, damn it!".

If they'd sold it to Teresa Heinz, she'd have had it named Lambert Field ;)

PS It says something about the man and his time that David Brinkley, in the mid-60s, said he could think of no one in DC who didn't like Huber Humphrey.

Sofa King said...

Whatever Became Of Hubert?

Tibore said...

"Original Mike said...
Great minds, ... "


What that has to do with us, I don't know.

;)

Or is it a better joke to say "So do insane minds"? :D

Original Mike said...

Except for a preseason game eons ago, I've never attended a football game at Lambeau Field. But when we went to the 2006 NCAA hockey regionals at the Resch Center, which is a couple of blocks from Lambeau, we made sure to show up well before the first game so we could tailgate in the Lambeau Field parking lot. Hadta do it. Also made sure we ate at Curly's Pub on that trip.

peter hoh said...

I've got two sick teenagers and no time to research, but I am fairly certain that the Metrodome was the last of the mixed-use facilities.

It wasn't the last stadium built without the idea of selling naming rights, however.

I believe the dual name stuff started with the Orioles' stadium, which is Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

And yes, the Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome is a horrible name. Suits the Vikes, who are a horrible team. Call it the House that Brett Broke.

At least HHH was dead before they tacked his name to the stadium. Naming things after living pols is another abomination.

ricpic said...

There is something so dispiriting about a stadium named after a corporation. I don't know why, it just is.

virgil xenophon said...

I've got to put in a good word here for the Superdome in N.O. So far-sighted was its design that some 40 odd years later it's STILL
a more than adequate facility (albeit w.o. some of the pvt.. exclusive entrances, etc. "perks" for the "swells" that some of the newer
stadiums have) Loongg after many far newer stadiums built afterwords have been razed as obsolete..

Trooper York said...

The are three staduims who should never change their name.

Yankee Staduim.
Fenway Park.
Wrigly Field.

The rest don't matter.

Trooper York said...

The worst name ever for a sports venue was of course in New Jersey.

Brendan Bryne Arena which named after a nondescript governor of New Jersey who took enough bribes to get the Meadowlands complex built.

And of course the Vince Lombardi rest stop named after the coach of some team that nobody has heard of which is on the Turnpike or Garden State Parkway or something.

Original Mike said...

Trooper's awake!

Original Mike said...

Good morning, Trooper.

garage mahal said...

I always forget where the Giants and the Jets play. Is it still in New Jersey? If so, why don't they call them the New Jersey Giants or New Jersey Jets?

Original Mike said...

I think the team you are thinking of, Trooper, is the World Champion Green Bay Packers.

Pauly said...

I believe they can double up on sponsorship rights or "preserve the integrity of the name" by selling a separate name for the field, specifically the playing surface "Mall of America Field" and then a name for the stadium/seating area.

For example, UCLA plays on the Nell and John Wooden Court at the Pauley Pavilion.

Since Edwin Pauley kicked in about 20% of the cost of construction, they can't rename the arena for Wooden, but they really need to honor him somehow, and they do that by a separate name for the court.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauley_Pavilion

At least those two names have ties to UCLA. When you get multiple corporate names, it becomes insanely unwieldy.

k*thy said...

The Humphery Dome sucked for basketball, too. It seemed to be a cheap, cement wind tunnel.

peter hoh said...

The Twins got their new stadium while Governor No-New-Taxes looked the other way. Hey, it was just a bump to the Hennepin County sales tax, so it doesn't really count, right?

And now the Vikings want a new stadium, too. Fortunately, the Republicans control the state house and senate, so there's no way that they'll approve a tax-payer funded stadium, right?

Original Mike said...

Hmmm. LA is going to be a long way to go to play the Vikings.

peter hoh said...

Original Mike, when I say "Go Vikes," that's exactly what I have in mind.

MadisonMan said...

I've never attended a football game at Lambeau Field

I went to my first game this year, early December. It's everything good you might imagine about a Football stadium. But it was windy and cold.

mm said...

The are three staduims who should never change their name.

Yankee Staduim.
Fenway Park.
Wrigly Field.

The rest don't matter.


Somebody got theyselves a baseball fetish.

Add Madison Square Garden, Soldier Field and the Rose Bowl.

And bring back the Boston Garden, Mile High Stadium and The Crosby/Clambake.

A

Trooper York said...

The New York Giants and the New York Jets retain the name because they play in a mere suburb of NYC.

Which would be true if they played anywhere in the contigous United States since it is all in fact just a suburb of New York City.

So to speak.

XWL said...

Speaking of naming rights (almost typed rites, which might not have been a mistake as there is a quasi-religious nature to the way sports are presented in this nation), the real future home of the artists formerly known as the Vikings (I suspect the name will stay in Minnesota, even if the team doesn't), has a new name, FARMERS FIELD.

The stadium hasn't been approved, it doesn't have any tenants, but Farmers Insurance Group has promised to pay $700M over 30 years to name the place should it go forward.

And if current Vikings fans want to look for bad omens, notice in the slide of an artists rendering of fans walking towards the stadium at LA Live, their jerseys are in Vikings purple and white (which might be a nod to the Lakers, rather than the Vikings).

They are selling this place with the idea that they'll get 2 NFL teams (as well as two other teams, presumably UCLA and USC football, too), be the premiere site for conventions of all kinds, bring the Final Four back to LA, as well as the Olympics and World Cup, and most ridiculously, the NHL Outdoor Classic (outdoor hockey in LA on New Year's Day seems a bit ambitious and technically difficult), and expect a ton of Superbowls to be scheduled for LA (like 4 out of the next 10 once the Stadium is finished).

AEG has the political clout to actually get this thing done (adding Magic Johnson as a high profile investor was a very savvy move), and both the Vikings and Jaguars are being targeted (or are using the threat to get better stadium deals out of their current homes), but deals that seemed in place have fallen apart before, so the Vikings might still continue to stink up the HumpDome for years to come.

J Lee said...

Coincidentally, The New York Times had an article on Monday about the Mets' two-year-old stadium and the fact that the naming rights were bought by the financially troubled Citibank.

Not unexpectedly, this being the Times, the author isn't adverse to having the city simply break the contract with Citibank and seize back the name of the stadium (you can make a good argument that Citi Field should never have opened as Citi Field in the first place and the bank should have given up the right to spend millions on it when they were taking federal bailout dollars at the same time, but I think if you've signed a contract with a bank that has hundreds of branches in the NYC metro area, you need to come up with a better reason to abrogate the contract than just "I don't like the company".

Original Mike said...

Farmers Field? Who's their mascot, Old McDonald?

Steven said...

There is something so dispiriting about a stadium named after a corporation. I don't know why, it just is.

Not always. See Wrigley Field, previously called "Cubs Park". Oh, you can argue it was really named after Cubs owner William Wrigley Jr. instead of the man's William Wrigley Jr. Company, but, c'mon.

I'd also suggest that "University of Phoenix Stadium" is an absolutely brilliant case of corporate naming rights.

k*thy said...

There is something so dispiriting about a stadium named after a corporation. I don't know why, it just is.

Miller Park

I was in Louisville a few year's ago, the U of L stadium had what looked like pizza boxes for the Papa John's signage.

mm said...

Citi Field, as corporate names go, isn't all that bad. As for the 'bailout', Citi going under would have been a very costly alternative. As it is, it looks like the taxpayer 'investment' in Citi will turn a profit. Besides, who'd rather see the $20 mil spent for the naming rights go into the pockets of senior execs at bonus time?

Quaestor said...

Ann wrote: You're Vikings. That's your image. Legendary conquerors... traipsing around the mall with Hubert Humphrey.

And I'm just as pleased as punch to lay waste to these urban mall rats, to see them driven in chains before me and hear the lamentations of their women. Attention Hot Topic shoppers, prepare to meet some real Goths!

Quaestor said...

After posting I realized Hot Topic is much more of a suburban phenom. Oh, well...

wv: aromrab - the bodywash for men of a certain arid persuasion.

Trooper York said...

Once again the New York Times doesn't know what it is talking about.

They have already changed the name of the stadium the New York Mets play in to: "The House that Bernie Madoff Built."

former law student said...

How about "Remax Realtors Sold Your Field"? (Say it real fast.)

Wrigley Field's original name was Weeghman Park, after diner owner Lucky Charlie Weeghman

BJM said...

Monster dot com bought naming rights to Candlestick Park and changed the name to Monster Park. Not bad, but locals and fans still call it The Stick.

mm said...

Monster dot com bought naming rights to Candlestick Park and changed the name to Monster Park. Not bad, but locals and fans still call it The Stick.

Good example of the problem with 'offical' names.

The only place you'll see 'A-10 Thunderbold II' is in a press release - to users, it's just 'the Hog'. Or you can take your pick of 'Skytrain' or 'Gooney Bird' -'Thunderchief or Thud' - 'Strato-Fortress' or 'BUFF'.

Sixty Grit said...

Foster Brooks was the best. His humor never fails to crack me up. "As Frank Sinatra here will tell you..." Classic.

Original Mike said...

"How about "Remax Realtors Sold Your Field"? (Say it real fast.)"

And they say liberals have no sense of humor.