Stadium Naming Rights

Stadium naming rightsI remember the day I learned Candlestick Park in San Francisco was changing its name to 3 Com Park. At the time, I thought it was sacreligious. How could they just change the name like that all because some company paid them for the rights? Little did I know it was merely the start of a trend that would engulf almost all stadiums and arenas in the major sports.

ESPN lists the names, sponsor and cost per year for every stadium and arena named after a corporation. Here in Toronto we hardly even notice that Maple Leaf and Raptor games are played in the Air Canada Centre. I always refer to it as the ACC and I'll bet Air Canada isn't happy about that considering they shell out $1.5 per year for the naming rights. This is relatively cheap though when you consider Reliant Energy pays $10 a year for the naming rights for Reliant Stadium, home of the Houston Texans.

SkyDome is actually one of the few professional stadiums left without a corporately sponsored name. I suspect this isn't so much because they don't want to sell out but because they can't sell out. Who would want their good name associated with that hunk of concrete?

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