Lots of old sports venues getting new names this week!
- As previously discussed, the Buffalo Bills‘ Ralph Wilson Stadium will now be New Era Field.
- The Miami Dolphins‘ stadium, which has had more names than anyone can remember, will now be Hard Rock Stadium.
- The Charlotte Hornets‘ arena, which was the Time Warner Cable Arena, is now the Spectrum Center, thanks to the local cable company getting sold.
The price tags on the Buffalo deal was $40 million for seven years; no money changed hands in Charlotte, obviously, while the Dolphins declined to say how much they got for 18 years of their stadium name. I’m guessing not much, since nobody is going to remember this corporate name any better than the last five or six, but maybe since they just did a renovation, people will think of it as a new building with a new name?
Anyway, the fact that naming rights are worth more for a brand-new, nameless venue continues to be an incentive for teams to demand them. It’s probably not the best thing from an environmental sustainability standpoint that teams and cities are building stadiums partly just to act as giant billboards, but I can’t complain too much so long as it does allow them to fob off some costs on another sucker.