The Name of the Stadium Game

Sometime between now and early 2008, the new Nationals stadium naming rights will be awarded to some company willing to spend between $4 million to $10 million per year for several years.  With it, comes some hokey nickname for the park, great word-of-mouth advertising and instant ballpark recognition. Soon (sponsor) will be affiliated with Washington just like Safeco-Seattle, Minute Maid-Houston and Petco-San Diego. You get the idea

Check out who is quoted first in Tuesday’s Washington Post article about the stadium naming rights? Pretty random. I thought this guy was never quoted directly in the papers.

Under the Major League Baseball’s agreement with the city of Washington, the Nationals are entitled to all revenue from the naming rights.  Not only is the city government paying for a publicly-funded $611 stadium but it’s going to get zero money from the naming rights. Call it lose-lose for the city government.

Outgoing Mayor Anthony Williams said in the article the naming rights were an important incentive for persuading baseball to locate a franchise in Washington and attract a buyer.  Really?  I thought a publicly-funded stadium would’ve been the kicker. 

I’ll bring it back into the Nationals realm. I was thinking of new stadium names and came up the following bad ideas.

XMirius Field.  Just in case a merger happens.

AOL Field. A new version of the stadium will come out once a year or two.

Sprintel Field. DC has a law against drivers using hand-held cell phones. They should have a law against a stadium being named Sprint/Nextel. The Cell Tower nickname just can’t materialize

Capital One Stadium. Like I really need 100 signs in the park asking me what’s in my wallet. The answer: Not much after tickets and concessions in the new park. It’s coming. The 2007 season is the Nationals management’s gift to the fans. After that, watch out.

All kidding aside, I don’t care what they name the new stadium but I would like to make a slight suggestion. Could the name of the new stadium incorporate Washington’s baseball past somehow? Save the smart-aleck Bob Short and Calvin Griffith suggestions. There are three links to the past I would like to suggest.

A)     Grays Field at (sponsor) stadium.  The Homestead Grays of the Negro Leagues played several “home” games a year in Washington. Homestead’s official home base was Pittsburgh so this might be a stretch.

B)     Walter Johnson Field at (sponsor) stadium. One of the game’s greatest pitchers and the best player to ever play for the Washington baseball franchise past or present.

C)    Clark Griffith Field at (sponsor) stadium. I was tempted to say Griffith Field only but I don’t want anyone thinking Calvin should be included. That’s like Baltimore naming a stadium after Robert Irsay. Again, Clark Griffith Field would be a nice tie to the past.

I admit B and C might be too old-school to consider. Sure, the name of the park would be a mouthful but it would be nice to have a historical Washington baseball tie to the new park. Do I think it will happen? Probably Not.


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