Blessings of the Great Recession: A Break From Corporate Stadium Names in Dallas-Fort Worth

No doubt, the last few years in the American economy have been awful. Millions have lost their jobs and been unable to find new work. Many have been forced out of their homes, unable to pay mortgages or keep up with expenses. We’re recovering, we’re told, but it doesn’t always feel that way.

Now that I’ve bummed you out just before the holiday weekend, I want to mention one tiny bit of good news that we can perhaps attribute to our economic doldrums. Corporations are cutting back on their co-opting of the Dallas-Fort Worth sports world. With Addison-based Pizza Hut dropping its sponsorship from the soccer stadium up in Frisco that will soon only formerly be known as Pizza Hut Park, three of our four major-league professional sports venues are named for their teams rather than whatever company offered the most money for the naming rights.

And the fourth is called the American Airlines Center. Dare we pretend that we have a hope that AA’s recent bankruptcy might lead it to get out of its naming deal, so that we might instead attend games in the Stars-Mavericks Multipurpose Center, or (better yet) New Reunion Arena?

Of course we dare pretend. We’re not deluding ourselves. We realize that this break from watching the Rangers play at someplace called something like Ameriquest Field is temporary. And we don’t entirely blame the ownership for taking any money that might show up on the table. (Yu Darvish isn’t going to come cheap, after all.) We’re just saying: it’s nice.

Nice that the Cowboys don’t play in Coliseum. Nice that we don’t have read about Arena or the KFC Yum! Center regularly in the Morning News or Star-Telegram sports sections. Advertising belongs in the pages of magazines, not soiling the memories of our treasured ticket stubs.

Sure, the same can’t be said about some of our other Dallas entertainment venues, but in most conversations, don’t we still refer to Center Gexa Energy Pavilion as “Starplex” anyway?


  • Matt

    Um, that naming sponsorship at Pizza Hut Park was the only real source of income for FC Dallas. If they don’t find another sponsor soon expect them to fold, or move. But at least you can call it by the team name for a bit – glad you’re happy about that.

  • JB

    I’m sure corporate sponsorship will be back. venues should be expected to be named something like “Happy Noodle Family Co. Stadium” or “Competition of Joy Shoe Industry Arena” in the near future.

  • DGirl

    I was in New Orleans earlier this week and scratched my head about the recently branded Mercedes Benz Super Dome. That’s a very curious alignment, considering that the vast majority of inhabitants of that city (and state, for that matter) aren’t Mercedes’ demographic. I wish Mercedes would have instead given its money to restore Louisiana’s wetlands. Mercedes Benz Marshes. Has a nice ring to it.

  • CSP

    I’m with Matt. This is bad news for FC Dallas, not good, but if it saves you some mental anguish from having to hear the name of a locally-based corporation as frequently as you previously would have, more power to you.