Lambeau Field, Fenway Park, Madison Square Garden. Ever heard of them? Of course you have, they’re fucking iconic. How about these: M&T Bank Stadium, Chase Field, Quicken Loans Arena. Probably not, unless you’re a fan of the Ravens, D-Backs, or the Cavs.
My point is this: many of the sporting venues that are sprouting up these days are being funded by these big corporate names (I don’t know how big M&T Bank is…) and it’s taking away from the sanctity of the stadiums. Sure, these million and billion dollar structures are beautiful with countless new amenities — half the reason I still go to Yankee games is for the pulled pork sandwiches — but there’s nothing behind the names of random companies.
When a company bails as a sponsor and a field gets a new name, said field loses that sense of history that went with its old name. The resident team has to start building a whole new legacy for their house.
“Hey, remember that time we won the World Series at The BOB?” No, Luis Gonzalez, no one knows what the fuck The BOB is. And in 10 years when Bank of America buys out Chase, no one will know where Chase Field was either (but hey, then you can call it “The BOA,” even if it contradicts your mascot).
What if every time MSG was renovated, it got a new name? I can tell you that The Garden would be a straight up shit hole. It’s already pretty shitty, but because of all the teams and superstars that played there, and all the epic concerts and Big East Tourneys that were held there, throw in a couple boxing matches, the place is hallowed grounds. There may be banners hanging from its rafters, but it’s the name “Madison Square Garden” that sticks in everyone’s mind.
Same with Fenway. The right field seats point towards the center field bleachers, but who gives a shit? It’s Fenway Fahckin’ Pahk. So much history. Even if it’s mostly bad history (sorry, Yankee fan bias). It’ll be a sad day for many fans when the Red Sox move into a new home…
All’s I’m sayin’ is these places are a big part of a team’s history, and when you give them random-ass corporation names, you’re taking away from that history.