Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Get Your Invective Ready: Dodger Stadium Naming Rights Back On The Table

One of the things with which I've got to credit Frank McCourt is the fact that, during his tenure as Dodgers owner, he hasn't sold naming rights to Dodger Stadium. According to Bill Shaikin of the LAT, however, that may all change soon.

At least one party bidding on the Dodgers has inquired about the possibility of selling naming rights to Dodger Stadium, according to records filed this week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Dodger Stadium turns 50 this year. The iconic ballpark has never been known by another name.

However, with the Dodgers expected to sell for a record price for a North American sports franchise, the investment bank brokering the sale has included naming rights among what it calls the "value creation opportunities" — that is, money-making options — for a buyer, according to two people familiar with the sale process.

Bruce Bennett, the Dodgers' lead bankruptcy attorney, and Peter Cohen, the Blackstone Advisory Partners executive leading the sale team, discussed "naming rights and other bidder questions" in a telephone conference Feb. 22, according to court records.

It is uncertain whether the inquiries came from bidders still in contention and whether the questions reflected standard due diligence or a sincere interest in selling the Dodger Stadium naming rights. Dodgers spokeswoman Lyndsey Estin declined to comment.

I have to admit I'm split on this one. Calling Dodger Stadium "TCW Park" or something like that would be tough to swallow, sure. But on the flip side, if those naming rights help us secure a better on-field product (and a less leveraged owner), then maybe it's worth feeling the taste of vomit in one's throat every once in a while.

(I shudder to imagine Vin Scully calling Dodger Stadium by another name, however; I can't help but recall his difficulty saying "Feel the Mexcellence!" last year. (And is "Mexcellence" even capitalized in the first place?))

The piece ends with some thoughts from the other Hombre-ful team in Los Angeles:

The Angels played at Anaheim Stadium from 1966 to 1997, before the Walt Disney Co. sold naming rights to Southern California Edison.

"How does it harm you as a fan? It doesn't," Tony Tavares, then Disney Sports president, said at the time. "We've got to try to tap every source of revenue we can to keep these seats affordable."

Edison Field ceased to exist after the 2003 season, when the company canceled the deal. Arte Moreno, who had just bought the team from Disney, did not pursue another deal and opted to call the ballpark Angel Stadium.

"He's not selling the naming rights," Wagner said, "because he sees the value of the brand."

19 comments:

Fred's Brim said...

Vin retires before he calls the stadium anything other than Dodger Stadium

Unless it's Farmer John Stadium. I think he'd be for that.

Fred's Brim said...

and for the record, fuck that!

Spank said...

I'm with FB. Fuck that!

Alex Cora said...

Spearmint Rhino stadium?

Greg Hao said...

I say, get with the times. Having stadium naming rights sold is something that happens everywhere nowadays.

Hideo Nomo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dusty Baker said...

My invective is always at the ready.

Dusty Baker said...

Dayum, Greg calling us out for being old fashioned. You may have a point.

Nonetheless, fuck that!

Jason said...

Fuck That Stadium?

Hideo Nomo said...

@Jason

That's what I named AT&T Park.

Hideo Nomo said...

Solution:

Sell the naming rights to this group.

QuadSevens said...

I love the name "Dodger Stadium" but if we had to call it something else, how about something that pokes fun at another team?

"The Only Stadium in Los Angeles"
"Crumbled Mountain Stadium" (Dodgers are 72-36 vs. Rockies at home since 2000)

Jason said...

If Frank keeps the parking lots, I propose we all chip in to buy the naming rights and call it "Don't Park at Dodger Stadium"

Mr. LA Sports Czar said...

They should take the Rose Bowl route and call it "Dodger Stadium, presented by Subway".

Neeebs * said...

How about "Dodger Stadium, brought to you by Sons of Steve Garvey."

Start collecting your pennies, boys and girls.

Hideo Nomo said...

Dodger Stadium, based on the novel "Push" by Sapphire.

Dusty Baker said...

The Ballpark Formerly Known As Dodger Stadium?

DDGRDUG said...

The could always just rename the sections. They already did that with the Club Level and Field Box Clubs. "Aladdin's Bail Bonds presents The Left Field Pavilion"

Falling LEAVes said...

This isn't really a new thing. I think there has been rumors the last few years. I remember hearing about this during a Dodger tour with "Inside the Dodgers" blog.