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Old 01-21-2019, 11:02 AM
2Bits 2Bits is offline
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What was the first pro sports venue named for a company?

And what was the last time a new pro sports venue was named for anything other than a company?
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:14 AM
yabob yabob is offline
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Possibly not the first, but we can start with either Wrigley Field or Fenway Park, which are the two oldest parks in the majors.

Wrigley Field was given that name in 1927. It started out as Weeghman Park in 1914:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrigley_Field

I suppose you can point out that it was named for "Wrigley" the man, rather than his company. I'd say it's a distinction without a difference.

Fenway Park is debatable as to whether it's a corporate name or not:

Quote:
Taylor claimed the name Fenway Park came from its location in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston, which was partially created late in the nineteenth century by filling in marshland or "fens",[14] to create the Back Bay Fens urban park. However, given that Taylor's family also owned the Fenway Realty Company, the promotional value of the naming at the time has been cited as well. ...

Last edited by yabob; 01-21-2019 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:26 AM
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Oh, and what do you want to consider a "new sports venue". I suppose Wrigley can't count if you really mean a brand new stadium as opposed to a renaming or a renovation for a new sports franchise.
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:33 AM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is online now
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Not the first, but when Anheuser-Busch bought the St. Louis Cardinals (baseball version) and Sportsman's Park, they wanted to rename the facility Budweiser Stadium.
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Commissioner Ford Frick vetoed the name because of public relations concerns over naming a ballpark after a brand of beer. However, the commissioner could not stop Anheuser-Busch president August Busch, Jr. from renaming it after himself, and so he did; many fans still called it by the old name. The Anheuser Busch "eagle" model that sat atop the left field scoreboard flapped its wings after a Cardinal home run.[9] The next year, Anheuser Busch introduced a new economy lager branded as "Busch Bavarian Beer", thus gaming Frick's ruling and allowing the ballpark's name to be branded by what would eventually be Anheuser-Busch's second most popular beer brand.
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:35 AM
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Oh, and what do you want to consider a "new sports venue". I suppose Wrigley can't count if you really mean a brand new stadium as opposed to a renaming or a renovation for a new sports franchise.
For the "first pro sports venue named for a company" I'm wondering about the first in history.

I meant to add "...in the United States" for both questions. Poop!

For my curiosity I DO make a distinction between a stadium being named for (or sponsored by) a company and honoring a person. Perhaps that distinction isn't always possible.
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:39 AM
yabob yabob is offline
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And for the major US Sports leagues, the most recent without a corporate name seems to be Marlins Park, where the MLB Miami Marlins play. opened in 2012.
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:45 AM
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And what was the last time a new pro sports venue was named for anything other than a company?
How do you count arenas that initially have a non-company name but later sell the naming rights to a company? I doubt if it's the most recent, but the Moda Center in Portland (named after an insurance company) was named the Rose Garden for about 20 years before the rights were sold. Would something like that count towards this question?
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by yabob View Post
Possibly not the first, but we can start with either Wrigley Field or Fenway Park, which are the two oldest parks in the majors.
The question is tricky because a number of team owners put their name on their business, as well as their stadium. Did Walter Briggs name (what would later be called) Tiger Stadium after himself or after his very successful Briggs Manufacturing Company?

When beer guy August Busch bought the St. Louis Cardinals and their stadium in 1953, he wanted to change the name of the ballpark to Budweiser Stadium. He was talked out of it, and instead named the park Busch Stadium. Then Busch's brewery came out with Busch Beer.

In 1947 the Tokyo Giants of the Japanese Baseball League were officially renamed the Yomiuri Giants, after the Yomiuri conglomerate.
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:51 AM
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The question is tricky because a number of team owners put their name on their business, as well as their stadium. Did Walter Briggs name (what would later be called) Tiger Stadium after himself or after his very successful Briggs Manufacturing Company? ...
Exactly the point I made with Wrigley. In his case, I would say that he was so associated with his company that it can't be named for him without being an advertisement for his company.
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:59 AM
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And for the major US Sports leagues, the most recent without a corporate name seems to be Marlins Park, where the MLB Miami Marlins play. opened in 2012.
Ah, yes. I wonder if any corporate was money involved in its construction.
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Old 01-21-2019, 12:55 PM
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As another example of what dtilque is talking about, AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas was named Cowboys Stadium when it opened in 2009. (Although as I recall Jerry Jones made little secret of the fact that he was just waiting for a suitably sweet naming rights deal.)

Regardless, the name change to AT&T Stadium didn't happen until 2013.

Last edited by brad_d; 01-21-2019 at 12:56 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 01-21-2019, 01:01 PM
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Boston's TD Garden always had a bank's name, except for a brief interregnum between contracts when the "official" name was up for a daily auction on eBay for charity. There were thirty winners (I have never found a complete list), although "Derek Jeter Center" was rejected.
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Old 01-21-2019, 01:09 PM
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Not a company, but how about the Flavian Amphitheatre - the Colosseum - in 72 CE as the first?
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Old 01-21-2019, 01:29 PM
Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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The Fenway, Wrigley, and Busch examples involved companies/persons who owned the team and/or the stadium. With regards to naming rights by non-owners Wikipedia suggests:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Foxboro Stadium, the home of the New England Patriots between 1970 and 2001, was an early example of a team selling naming rights to a company that did not own it, naming the stadium Schaefer Stadium after the beer company from its building until 1983.

Last edited by Marvin the Martian; 01-21-2019 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 01-21-2019, 01:31 PM
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Wrigley and Fenway appear to be the answer, at least for major venues of the 4 big sports in the U.S. that are still operating.

As for the renaming of an established venue (for a major sport in the U.S.), I'd offer the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis changing its name to the RCA Dome in 1994. At the time it raised eyebrows, but I noticed it seemed to launch a trend that quickly spread to every major U.S. city, especially when a new venue was constructed. Except for Wrigley and Fenway, I'm hard-pressed to think of a venue built in the last 30 years that isn't named for a corporation - more knowledgable sports fans can help me I'm sure! Makes it hard to figure out where sports (and concerts, etc.) are actually being held when advertised.

As an aside, I believe Indianapolis (the Colts in particular) kicked off the modern trend of NFL teams relocating to a new city. I recall at the time NFL announcers on the major networks kept stumbling on the Colts new name, calling them Baltimore followed by them saying how weird it was for a team to move. Now, relocated NFL teams are a common thing and no one seems to have a problem with new names.
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Old 01-21-2019, 01:37 PM
Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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Originally Posted by Reindeer Flotilla View Post
As an aside, I believe Indianapolis (the Colts in particular) kicked off the modern trend of NFL teams relocating to a new city. I recall at the time NFL announcers on the major networks kept stumbling on the Colts new name, calling them Baltimore followed by them saying how weird it was for a team to move. Now, relocated NFL teams are a common thing and no one seems to have a problem with new names.
Raiders moved from Oakland to LA in 1982. Colts moved in 1984.
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Old 01-21-2019, 01:39 PM
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Philips Stadion - the home of PSV Eindhoven, a leading football team in the Netherlands - has had Philips as part of the name since 1910. OK, PSV started out as the Philips works team, but still.
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Old 01-21-2019, 01:56 PM
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Raiders moved from Oakland to LA in 1982. Colts moved in 1984.
And the Dallas Texans relocated to Kansas City to become the Chiefs in '63. I suspect it was pretty common in earlier days
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Old 01-21-2019, 02:09 PM
Reindeer Flotilla Reindeer Flotilla is offline
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And the Dallas Texans relocated to Kansas City to become the Chiefs in '63. I suspect it was pretty common in earlier days
Oh, agreed. I imagine a lot of U.S. teams for the major sports relocated during the 1940's through the '60's. It would be interesting to see a timeline of team relocations, and I'd wonder if the mid-60's to the Raiders and Colt move in the early 80's might show the most team location stability for that 20 year stretch - at least for the NFL.

Last edited by Reindeer Flotilla; 01-21-2019 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:32 PM
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Not the venue, but the Brooklyn Tip-Tops of the Federal League were named for the bread company run by their owner.

Crosley Field in Cincinnati was renamed in 1934 to promote Crosley cars and radios after Crosley bought the team.
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Old 01-21-2019, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Reindeer Flotilla View Post
Oh, agreed. I imagine a lot of U.S. teams for the major sports relocated during the 1940's through the '60's. It would be interesting to see a timeline of team relocations, and I'd wonder if the mid-60's to the Raiders and Colt move in the early 80's might show the most team location stability for that 20 year stretch - at least for the NFL.
See:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reloca...l_sports_teams
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:07 PM
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The wrong way around, but the one I love is the Astro Dome. Not named after Astro Turf, but the owner certainly knew what he was doing when he gave both products the same name.
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:56 PM
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The wrong way around, but the one I love is the Astro Dome. Not named after Astro Turf, but the owner certainly knew what he was doing when he gave both products the same name.
Two different owners. The Astrodome came first. Then Monsanto invented something called ChemGrass. When they installed it in the Astrodome, Monsanto renamed it Astroturf.

Last edited by kunilou; 01-21-2019 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 01-22-2019, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Reindeer Flotilla View Post
I'm hard-pressed to think of a venue built in the last 30 years that isn't named for a corporation - more knowledgable sports fans can help me I'm sure!
Marlins Park has been cited.

Nationals Park, in D.C.

Globe Life Park, home of the Texas Rangers, was called just "The Ballpark in Arlington" when it opened in 1994.

Oriole Park at Camden Yards, of course.

Yankee Stadium.

Paul Brown Stadium, home of the Cincinnati Bengals.


That's it.
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Old 01-22-2019, 01:11 PM
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Dodger Stadium too.

Arguably Dodger Stadium,Yankee Stadium, Marlins Park, Nationals Park, and Oriole Park ARE named after companies, but I'm thinking that's not what the OP meant.

Last edited by TSBG; 01-22-2019 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 01-22-2019, 02:53 PM
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Shea Stadium was unique in that it wasn't named for an owner, team name, city name, street name, or business.

It was named after William Shea, a lawyer who was instrumental in bringing the National League to New York.
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Old 01-22-2019, 04:01 PM
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Globe Life Park, home of the Texas Rangers, was called just "The Ballpark in Arlington" when it opened in 1994.
Hell, it wasn't "Globe Life" until pretty recently. It was Ameriquest Field from 2004-2007, and then Globe Life Park from 2014-2018. The rest of the time it was either "The Ballpark in Arlington" or 'Rangers Ballpark in Arlington". Truth be told, most of the time people have always called it "The Ballpark in Arlington", with only TV talking heads calling it by the corporate name.

And FWIW, AT&T Stadium tends to be called "Jerryworld" around here a LOT. About as much as "Cowboys Stadium" or "AT&T Stadium" I'd say, with even the local news people calling it by that name.


Also, the Astrodome and Astroturf are both named after the team- the Houston Astros, who renamed themselves from the "Colt 45s" in 1965 when they moved into the Astrodome. I suppose it could be a chicken or egg situation, but in the mid-late 1960s through the 1970s, Houston was enamored with all things space and space program related, so we had the Astros, Rockets and Aeros (baseball, basketball and hockey) all starting about the same time. Never have figured out why the Oilers didn't end up with a space-age name like the other teams though.
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Old 01-22-2019, 04:18 PM
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I suppose it could be a chicken or egg situation, but in the mid-late 1960s through the 1970s, Houston was enamored with all things space and space program related, so we had the Astros, Rockets and Aeros (baseball, basketball and hockey) all starting about the same time. Never have figured out why the Oilers didn't end up with a space-age name like the other teams though.
Of course the Houston Rockets were already the Rockets when they moved from San Diego in 1971. The Houston Oilers are the oldest of all the teams you mention dating back to 1960. What's now the Johnson Space Center wasn't even planned until 1961 and wasn't occupied until 1963.
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Old 01-22-2019, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Reindeer Flotilla View Post
I'm hard-pressed to think of a venue built in the last 30 years that isn't named for a corporation
What became* Turner Field was named for Ted Turner, a former owner of the Atlanta Braves. This is somewhat moot in that it is now Georgia State Stadium or something like that and the Braves don't play there any more. But still.


*After the Olympics were through using it.
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Old 01-22-2019, 05:01 PM
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at NC State the old BB arena was named for William Neal Reynolds of the Reynolds tobacco family. He did not like BB and never attended a game there. It was named for him by a relative who donated money for the construction. He graduated from Wake Forest, a rival school of NC State
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Old 01-22-2019, 05:14 PM
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He graduated from Wake Forest, a rival school of NC State
When your family pays that much money to move a school across the state, it's rude not to at least get one degree from it.
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Old 01-22-2019, 05:22 PM
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CenturyLink Field (“The Clink”) where the Seahawks play in Seattle was originally “Seahawks Stadium” when it opened in 2002. It then became “Qwest Field” in 2004, named after the telecommunications company Qwest which bought the naming rights. When Qwest was bought by CenturyLink in 2011 the new company renamed the stadium. CenturyLink has naming rights through 2033.
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:38 AM
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Of course the Houston Rockets were already the Rockets when they moved from San Diego in 1971. The Houston Oilers are the oldest of all the teams you mention dating back to 1960. What's now the Johnson Space Center wasn't even planned until 1961 and wasn't occupied until 1963.
I didn't realize the Oilers were quite that old; I thought they were roughly a 1961-1962 team, concurrent with the JSC building, which made me wonder why they were not named in the theme with the other teams.

And I had no idea that the Rockets were from San Diego. That's a bit of trivia that is pretty much not publicized at all in Houston.
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:51 AM
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[Moderating]

This thread would probably fit a bit better in the Game Room. Moving.
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Old 01-23-2019, 03:22 PM
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Dodger Stadium too.
The stated condition was "built in the last 30 years." Dodger Stadium, of course, is over fifty years old.

In baseball, ballpark construction in the last thirty years actually starts with a stadium I forgot - Toronto's Rogers Centre, which was called simply "SkyDome" when it was built in 1989 until 2005, so, like Arlington, it qualified at one point. It'll pass the 30-year mark this June, though.

"SkyDome" doesn't refer to anything except the retractable roof. It was picked from a name-the-stadium contest.
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Last edited by RickJay; 01-23-2019 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 01-23-2019, 03:33 PM
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My favorite entry was "The Taxpayers Get Ripped Off Again Dome".
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Old 01-23-2019, 06:25 PM
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The stated condition was "built in the last 30 years." Dodger Stadium, of course, is over fifty years old.
Whoops, that went by me. Thanks.
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