Cash-Strapped Cities Selling 'Naming Rights'

Monday, 06 Dec 2010 12:02 PM

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The name-change binge that turned sports stadiums into corporate billboards has spread to the public sector, the Wall Street Journal reports. Cash-strapped localities across America are auctioning off naming rights to buildings, parks and other government-held properties in a bid to close budget gaps.

AT&T recently paid Philadelphia $3 million to re-brand a commuter rail station. Chicago's downtown Millennium Park is a model of product-placement largesse: Attractions include Chase Pavilion, Boeing Gallery, BP Bridge and McDonald's Cycle Center.

Residents of some communities have beat back efforts to put company logos on public facilities. Elsewhere, the auctions continue.

"Let's say someone walked up to us and said: 'Here's $4 million; we want to rename it Pepsi Center,' " said Richard Polk, chairman of Boulder, Colorado's Dairy Center for the Arts. "That would be very hard for us to turn away in this economy."


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