Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Names sweeter than 'The Rose Garden'

I e-mailed the following to The Oregonian's Letters section this morning after reading that the Portland Trailblazers are in the process of selling the naming rights to the Rose Garden.

Missing from the letter is mention of the irony of Billionaire Paul Allen's trying the squeeze every last dime out of his franchise.

Here's the letter:

Re: “Blazers try to sell arena name” Jan. 15, 2013.

Would a Rose Garden by any other name smell as sweet? Does Jeld Wen Field smell as sweet as Civic Stadium?

Names matter.

Don't believe it? Try “Trashco Arena” or "1-800-Got Junk Stadium" on for size. Or how about following Denver’s indirect support of childhood obesity by naming its facility “Pepsi Center?”

Obviously naming rights have value so how about using the name of an admired Trailblazer to support a worthy, cherished cause?

Thousands of Blazer fans would contribute to the name "Maurice Lucas Stadium." The much admired power forward and mainstay of the Blazer’s championship team died of cancer in 2010. The naming-rights money for Lucas Stadium would go to support cancer research at OHSU. Trailblazer owner Paul Allen, just a year younger than Lucas, should understand as he has suffered his own bouts with cancer. Allen, known for his philanthropy, might even match the fans' contribution.

A final suggestion: Drexler Arena, for the greatest Trailblazer of all. I’m sure fans would donate to a Clyde Drexler Foundation dedicated to a worthy local cause.

Names like these smell of civic sweetness — sweeter, even, than a rose.

Rick Seifert

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