Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Just say no

Sam Zell, CEO of the Tribune Company, says he sees no problem with selling the naming rights to Wrigley Field. So take the sign above, and imagine instead it says Hunts Ketchup Park at Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs.

Then feel free to claw your eyeballs out with a fork.

From the same company that brought you direct ticket sales to brokers owned by the same company who then charge triple the price to fans, the same company that brought you media rights sold for a dollar to a TV network owned by the same company, the same company that did both of these things then claimed a paper loss for the franchise... comes the idea of selling the name of the single most loved sports venue in the United States.

Congress can step in here. Congress can declare Wrigley Field a National Park. Congress can then name Wrigley Field whatever it damn well pleases (like, oh, I don't know, Wrigley Field) and tell Sam Zell to shove a Louisville Slugger where it best fits.

Corporate naming rights are evil. Temporary naming rights are worse. Remember Enron Field, anyone? Name the thing once and for all - after an owner, an ex player, a local legend, whoever. And then leave it. Forever. Is it that hard to do?

This statement brought to you by the Citibank Sports Blog at

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