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Seven Stupid Sports Stadium Sponsorships

Jul. 10 5:36 PM by Kate McNally

Remember the days when stadiums and arenas were named after the team that played there or an influential figure? Nowadays, stadium names are fair game to the highest bidder and often make little sense. The following seven stadiums are prime examples of advertising in sports done falsely.

7- PacBell/SBC/ATT Park

The poor San Francisco Giants. They just can't buy a decent season-though not for lack of trying (*ahem* Barry "BALCO" Bonds). And what's worse, they can't event seem to figure out what to call their own stadium. When SBC bought PacBell the name of the stadium changed, and the same occurred when AT&T bought SBC. A classic series of the big one eating the little one. So what's next for this ball park of a thousand names? The PacBell/SBC/AT&T/Qualcom/Sprint Nextel/Verizon and-so-on-and-so-forth Stadium? Let's just call it "Big Telecommunication Park" and be done with it.

6- U.S. Cellular Field

When you think of ballparks in Chicago most likely your first thoughts will be of Wrigley Field and all its ivy-covered walls. What you may not initially think about is the home to the Chicago White Sox, U.S. Cellular Field. Now I'm all for cheering on my team and even heckling every now and then, but talking on the phone is a definite no-no. And I'm not about to fork over my hard-earned list-driven money so that I can sit next to someone and hear about their latest prostate exam. You're encouraged to shut off your phone during movies, flights, conferences, while dining, etc. Why should a ball game be any exception? Oh right, wouldn't want to deprive those jackasses who sit behind homeplate from making fools of themselves on national television while waving at, and talking to, every friend and relative who may be watching. Televised baseball would definitely suffer without that.

5- INVESCO Field at Mile High Stadium

If Denver has anything going for it, it's that its people love their sports teams (even when stuck with such shitty options). So when Mile High Stadium was to be renamed INVESCO Field at Mile High Stadium, the citizens of Denver (all 237 of them) decided to protest. The Denver Post even refused to publish the new name of the stadium and instead referred to it as "the Diaphragm" due to the stadium's new prophylactic-like design.

4- Minute Maid Park-aka "Enron Field"

The worst part about having a corporation sponsor a stadium is that if that company turns out to be the root of all evil, the stadium and home teams take a hit too. Take the Houston Astros who sadly had to play on Enron Field from 2000-2002. Once the Enron scandal broke the team was left with a black eye and the stadium had to be renamed fast. The family-friendly Minute Maid Corporation eventually took over, and while it makes about as much sense sponsoring a baseball team as Enron did, at least they're too busy squeezing juice to cook their books. That won't stop us from finding something to whine about, however--who pines for a glass of OJ at a baseball stadium? Sports events are designed for folks to eat and drink unhealthily while watching extremely fit athletes!

3- Quicken Loans Arena

In today's economy most people look for ways to escape their financial woes and often head to a game to take their mind off their worries. With the sub-prime loan mess throwing Wall Street and the Federal Reserve out of whack the last thing a person wants to hear or see when they walk into a stadium is the word "loan." Yet when people head to the hardwood to watch the Cleveland Cavaliers play they're literally surrounded by loans, specifically the Quicken Loans Arena. I guess it isn't too far of a stretch for Quicken to invest in a stadium though, you practically have to take out a loan just to cover the cost of tickets, food and drinks for a small family.

2- EnergySolutions Arena

Located in Salt Lake City, Utah, the EnergySolutions Arena is home to the NBA team The Utah Jazz and the Arena Football League's Utah Blaze. During the 2002 Winter Olympics it held the figure skating and short track speed skating events. Sure, all of these athletes need energy, but what they don't need is radiation. So why would the naming rights of this stadium go to a company that disposes of nuclear waste? We already have a big enough problem with players using steroids in sports, do we really want them becoming radioactive as well? As a fan I would think twice before attending a game at this arena-god knows what's under the floor.

1- PETCO Park

PETCO Park is located in beautiful, sunny San Diego, California and hosts the San Diego Padres. Unfortunately, the Padres' record isn't nearly as pretty as the grounds in which they play. One of the reasons the stadium is so lovely is because of the strict rules that keep pets off the grass and out of the park (except on very special occasions). So if not to loosen restrictions on pets attending sporting events, why did PETCO take over the stadium? Your guess is as good as mine, but I'd definitely avoid eating the hot dogs.


This may be the only thing Cincinnati sports has right. The Bengals play in a stadium named for their founder, Paul Brown Stadium. And even though the Reds play in a sponsored stadium, the naming rights were bought by Great American Insurance Company, hence the name Great American Ballpark.


It's been renamed, but I just have to mentioned the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville. Maybe it was immature, but I always used to giggle when I heard it.


#1 is petco park? You've got to be kidding me....

2 things about San Diego and its record of Corporate sponsored stadiums/ball parks.

1. Qualcomm stadium (AKA Jack Murphy Stadium) Home of the SD Chargers, and the SD Padres for nearly 2+ decades is the place that started the whole corporate sponsorship bit. It was the first stadium ever to take the name of a corporation for a generous cash donation towards upgrading Jack Murphy Stadium to Super Bowl standards for the 2003 Super Bowl(XXXVII)

2. Petco Park was built because the Padres demanded their own Ball Park (instead of sharing a football-designed stadium with the Chargers) and Petco stepped in on the ground floor of negotiations to put their name there and provide a significant share of funding. This was never a situation where they came in and took over another ballpark or stadium, like with Jack Murphy Stadium, or some other debacles like Invesco... It was part of the second coming of corporate sponsorships....

Anyway... just thought I'd clear it up.... and I'd like to note that San Diego should definitely be #1, but it should be Qualcomm Stadium because that's where it all started in this country... not Petco Park....


dclaw: Your claim that Qualcomm stadium started the corporate sponsorship bit is completely wrong.

The modern era of stadium naming rights in North America may have begun when the Anheuser-Busch company in 1953 proposed re-naming Sportsman's Park, occupied by the St. Louis Cardinals, "Budweiser Stadium". When this idea was rejected by Ford Frick, the Commissioner of Baseball at that time, Anheuser-Busch then proposed the title "Busch Stadium" after one of the company's founders. The name was readily approved and Anheuser-Busch released a product called "Busch Bavarian Beer" (now known as Busch Beer).



actually cdahlkvist, you're completely wrong. Read your own post, Busch stadium is named after a person (August Busch, Jr.), not a corporation. Nice try.


Being a lifelong Chicago White Sox fan, I was very upset with the name change of Comiskey park. I always refer to it as "Comiskey Park home of U.S. Cellular Field." In my mind the field it the green (and in the case of baseball dirt) area where the game is played, you still need somewhere for all of the fans to watch the game from, hence "Comiskey Park"

Also, I didn't know that was ivy on the walls at Wrigley Field. Being a Sox fan, I always thought it was just a bunch of weeds.


I really, really miss the Astro Dome.


PacBell/SBC/ATT - just call it Pac Bell


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