I do not find any inherent civic value in sports-entertainment franchises or stadia, short of the taxes they pay and those paid by their employees and spectators (and with no sales tax, spectators to our events essentially contribute nothing to the host city). Typically it's much the opposite, with state and municipal governments falling all over themselves to give away tax breaks to keep sports-entertainment franchises from moving to another city. This eliminates nearly all of the actual value offered by these institutions. Given this, I don't have any attachment to the identities of sports-entertainment facilities and fully support selling naming rights as advertising. Additionally, the practice inextricably links the facility to a corporate sponsor, rather than a city, which really puts stadiums in their rightful place as corporate-owned entertainment venues - not civic institutions.
(B)ack to our futbol stadium, I'm basically indifferent (about it being renamed from Jeld-Wen Field to Providence Park). Providence would have spent that money in advertising through the Timbers in one or another, so that's a wash. The stadium had the name Jeld-Wen (an Oregon based window manufacturer that paid for the naming rights) since 2011, not exactly enough time to etch a name into the collective memory. For ten years before that it was PGE Park (after the local electric company, who paid for the naming rights in 2001), and that isn't even long enough for a name to stick. Before then it was Civic Stadium, and had been for nearly 100 years (people still call it Civic Stadium). Before that, it was Multnomah Stadium. So these things change, and it's really the exception to the rule when they don't. There's no civic value in preventing naming rights from being sold, as it denies that business a normal, legitimate channel of revenue, which could lead to the business ("team") relocating to a place where they can earn more revenue without local interference due to some perceived potential loss of civic identity attached to a sports-entertainment facility. Honestly, if a city's civic identity is so tightly coupled with one entertainment venue, that city needs the kind of help that doesn't come from an entertainment venue. These venues are often dark and abandoned unless an event is occurring, and they consume a lot of often prime real estate in areas that cities would like to see activated 18 hours a day, every day, all year long.
As for the Rose Garden, it had never been named for a corporate sponsor before Moda. It's predecessor is the Veteran's Memorial Coliseum. This was a tougher sell to the public, but it was done anyway. And it's fine... We spent a good part of last decade wondering if Paul Allen was going to sell the team because of the realities of small-market revenue in an American professional sports-entertainment league. As a fan of the team, I'm happy because this brings a sense of improved stability for the team as a business operation, which increases the sustainability of the team in this city, where I get to enjoy them as my own.
Text of S. 1130: Ending Secret Law Act (Introduced version) - GovTrack.us
Text of S. 1130: Ending Secret Law Act as of Jun 11, 2013 (Introduced version). S. 1130: Ending Secret Law Act
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