Monday, April 8, 2013

From the Jake to the Fake: It's opening day at Cleveland's "Your Name Here Stadium:"

I can't tell you the name of the ballpark where the Syracuse Chiefs - formerly the Syracuse SkyChiefs - play. Once, it was "MacArthur Stadium," named for the WWII general who inspired Dr. Strangelove. The place was majestic, but it had no luxury boxes. So the city fathers razed it. They replaced it with a soul-less chunk of concrete called "P&C Stadium," named for the grocery chain that is not Wegmans. Later, it became Alliance Bank Stadium, but the bank was razed - maybe it had too many luxury boxes - and now we play in BLT Stadium or BBC Stadium - something with letters. I don't bother to remember. These names are like third string catchers for the Chiefs: They come and go. Who cares? If I still call it MacArthur Stadium, everybody knows what I mean.

NEVERTHELESS: I hereby vow to change if and when the Dollar Store buys naming rights. That would inspire me. Better yet: "All For a Dollar Stadium." Or we could copy Florida Atlantic University, down there in Florida (I think), which recently came within a few protests of naming its stadium after Geo Group, the private prison company.  Welcome to Syracuse's "Attica Stadium!" Doesn't that have a nice ring?
 OK, I know what you're thinking: That's what you get, Seely, for living in a cheapo minor league backwaters, one of those towns with a three-day-a-week newspaper, where the Yaybobs look for images of Jim Boeheim in their toast.  Well, you're right. If somebody comes to Syracuse with Italian shoes, the local Industrial Development Authority automatically offers them a bond issue.

Then again,  today's home opener in Cleveland takes place at "Progressive Field," not The Jake.

Folks, the terrorists won.

"The Jake" was a great ballpark name, short for Jacobs Field, named after the team's owner -- uhm, Mr. Jacobs. Now it's Progressive Insurance, with Flo as the mascot, rather than Chief Wahoo. (No loss there.) No lie: It's near Quicken Loans Arena, part of the Gateway Sports and Entertainment Complex - for now anyway. In five years, it might be Subway Field, with the team motto: "Eat fresh."

Better writers than I have lamented this naming rights crapola. But the Steinboys ought to take notice. Because the whisperers keep whispering that Hal and Hank one day will cash out and return to building ships. (BTW, that's a joke.) When that happens, the next owner of the Yankees might look at that nice spring training complex, Steinbrenner Field, and think - hmmm - how much is it worth? That would sadden me. Unless, of course, the Dollar Store steps forward.

1 comment:

Russell Coltrane Martin said...