Friday, October 05, 2007
"On a practical level, we're getting awfully late in the game where we wouldn't have enough time to order and install the signage in time for opening day. We'll get there. The important thing is to have the right deal instead of the quick deal." So says The Owner of Our Washington Nationals on the real possibility that New Nationals Park will go CORPORATE NAMELESS for 2008. That quote from Ted Lerner in today's issue of The Washington Business Journal (link is for subscribers only to WBJ--so it might not work for you).
That's OK with me.
Never have I cared about Naming Rights placed on any ballpark. Never does any corporate sponsor sway my interest in their products. Many others, surely must feel the same way. DC & later RFK Stadium was fine with me. Oriole Park at Camden Yards is fine with me, also. Standard & Poors Yankee Stadium, or Wachovia Field at Fenway would NEVER BE ACCEPTABLE to me (if either The Yankees or The Red Sox ever lowered themselves to such a standard). Can you imagine Sony Stadium at Chavez Ravine (Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles)?
Awful!! Just Awful!!
Naming rights for Stadiums and Arenas are just SILLY. Sure, many corporations out there, obviously, feel a ballpark with their name hanging all over an edifice--helps their image and bottom line. But, honestly, I don't think people really care. Do you? Names on Ballparks so expected today--the practice has lost it luster.
Because The Washington Redskins play at FED EX Field--is FED EX the only overnight service used by Fans? Does M&T Bank Stadium get more accounts because The Baltimore Ravens' Fans are so loyal to their team? Never have Sohna and I been impressed with Verizon. So, The Capitals' and Wizards' Verizon Center, does not our phone service make.
We just don't care.
If Our Washington Nationals can get the $8-$10 Million per season--they are reportedly asking for Naming Rights to New Nationals Park--Fine. That's their business.
But, as far as I am concerned--Nationals Park at The Navy Yard is just fine with me--for My Business. Which, is watching and enjoying Major League Baseball.
Whether its GEICO, Northrup Gruman, Marriott, Lockheed Martin, Capital One, Exxon, or "MY NAME HERE" Stadium--whatever product any of these companies promote--The African Queen and I will not be swayed by Their Name on Our New Stadium on South Capitol Street.
Of course--two years after some corporation does get the naming rights deal--said company will probably be bought out. You can BET ON IT. Then, the real silliness begins. Ask The San Francisco Giants--who have seen their Marvelous Ballpark on The Bay be renamed three times--Pac Bell to SBC to AT& T Park.
That's a Triple Play I have no interest in seeing play out at New Nationals Park.
Really, I understand its an idealistic thought. But, Please Mr. Lerner--just keep it simple. Let New Nationals Park at Navy Yard honor Our Team, Our City, Our Baseball History. Not Some Other Corporations History of Financial Greed.