Look, I get that the money brought in by corporate naming rights of arenas and stadiums is huge, absolutely staggering. Sure it'd be great to still have our buildings named after private citizens, esteemed public figures, the teams that inhabit them, or respected groups such as our nation's military veterans. Although many of the edifices named after people bore the names of men who themselves were corporations, the Wachovia Center is built on the ground that once laid beneath John F. Kennedy Stadium. But, we all know that sports teams are businesses with many shareholders and stakeholders, and the revenue brought in by selling the name of a building is about the best "found money" you can come by.
That doesn't mean it's not somewhat annoying to have to keep up with all the name changes that result when the corporations that originally bought the rights in turn get bought themselves. And, considering that many of the naming rights are going to banks these days, and those banks merge, get bought, or buy other banks with dizzying regularity, we should be used to it by now, especially in Philly. Christened the CoreStates Center, the major indoor arena in Philadelphia has also been named the First Union Center and currently the Wachovia Center—all since 1996. And now, it'll soon become the Wells Fargo Center, named after a financial institution that already has naming rights for two other arenas in the US. Yes, as of July 1, 2010, there could potentially be a question raised in a bar some night, "Wait, which Wells Fargo Center do you mean?"
At least we're familiar with the letters W-F-C around here.
Fortunately, there aren't strongly tied nicknames for the soon-to-be-formerly Wachovia Center building, probably because of all the turnover in official names in a relatively short time. We call it "the Wach" sometimes, but I'm sure no one is particularly beholden to that. It made me think though; we're all pretty much set on calling Lincoln Financial Field "The Linc." If Lincoln Financial Group were to be purchased, would we change what we called the football stadium in Philly? What about Citizens Bank Park?
But for today, in the spirit of fans renaming our stadiums as we see fit, what do you think the nicknames for the Wells Fargo Center will be?