Thursday, September 1, 2011

Get Over It, Denver

Nashville has only been in the major pro sports business for 13 years, but if there's one thing we're experts on, it's the transfer of corporate naming rights for our stadium and arena. The home of the Titans has had three names over the years (Adelphia Coliseum, The Coliseum, LP Field), and the Preds' abode has gone by four (Nashville Arena, Gaylord Entertainment Center, Sommet Center, Bridgestone Arena).

The fine folks in Denver recently experienced the renaming of their stadium for the first time, following a change in corporate structure at Invesco. A new agreement arose between the Broncos and The Sports Authority, a Denver-based big-box sporting goods retailer that once had a couple of stores here in Nashville which closed several years ago (side note: my first Preds jersey was purchased at The Sports Authority in Rivergate).

Well, nobody in Denver ever was a huge fan of the name "Invesco Field"; they preferred "Mile High", the name of the now-demolished stadium next door that the new field replaced. In fact, " Mile High" was added to the Invesco Field name when the stadium opened. However, over time, they got used to it, just like we got used to Adelphia, Gaylord, Sommet...okay, bad example. But they got used to it. Nobody shed a tear, though, when it was announced two weeks ago that Invesco's name would be taken off the stadium and replaced with Sports Authority. By this point, they don't really care whose name is on the stadium, as long as the Broncos play there and they can still just call it "Mile High".

But then, The Sports Authority committed an unforgivable sin. They dared to let the new stadium logo--a logo which they are paying $6 million per year to display--reflect the company's corporate colors: red and white. Red and white: the colors of the Broncos' hated division rival, the Kansas City Chiefs.


No, seriously. The fans are upset. Really upset. So upset that The Sports Authority has agreed to take down its temporary red signs and replace them with permanent orange signage.

Get over it, Denver. It's just a sign. Be glad that you have a local company willing to invest in your local team and reduce the amount of taxpayer support needed to provide for the upkeep of the stadium. You don't see us complaining here in Nashville that the logo for Bridgestone Arena reflects the black and red of Bridgestone...and the hated division rival Chicago Blackhawks. In addition, we really don't mind that LP Field's logo is blue and orange, just like LP... and, oh yeah, the Denver Broncos.

Plus, we actually honor the corporate sponsors here. Sure, we used to call the arena "The Geck", but now that we have a respectable sponsor, it's almost like we're proud to say Bridgestone.

To be fair, though, we never really knew what a "Sommet" was, or even how to pronounce it most of the time.

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