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May 02, 2009
Dolphins to play in "Land Shark Stadium"?
In what's already being called the worst corporate stadium name in history, the Miami Dolphins are expected to announce next Friday that Dolphin Stadium — formerly Joe Robbie Stadium, later Pro Player Stadium — will be renamed Land Shark Stadium, after a beer brand co-owned by Jimmy Buffett.
While the new name will no doubt provide lots of fodder for jokes — don't sharks and dolphins attack each other? shouldn't this stadium really be in Chevy Chase, Maryland? — the interesting bit here will be how far it means the market for used stadium names has fallen when a niche beer brand can afford to buy the name of an NFL stadium. Nobody's saying just yet how much Land Shark would be paying for the naming rights, which could be only a one-year deal; Buffett could end up setting up a Margaritaville theme park at the stadium or buying part of the Dolphins as well, which would further complicate the financing.