File this article in the “random observations” folder.
I was stumbling around the internet yesterday, looking at upcoming MLB games. And I noticed, for the first time, that this week’s windy city battle between the Cubs and White Sox will not be played at US Cellular Field, the former stadium name for the White Sox, but…wait for it…Guaranteed Rate Field.
What the hell kind of stadium name is that–Guaranteed Rate Field? As boring as it is laughable, that easily takes the cake as the worst pro sports stadium name, at least in America.
And there are plenty of ridiculous stadium names. The Phoenix Suns, for instance, play in Talking Stick Resort Arena. Right next door is the world-renowned Gila River Arena, home of the Arizona Coyotes. But if you thought those were bad, how about the Utah Jazz’s Vivint Smart Home Arena? There’s an arena that’s really going to strike fear in opponents!
Meanwhile, the proud Pittsburgh Penguins play in something called PPG Paints Arena. The similarly distinguished Detroit Red Wings are about to move into a place named after a pizza joint: Little Caesars Arena. And where would we be without the Smoothie King Center, home of those New Orleans Pelicans!
Clearly money can buy you anything these days. However, as symbolic as these absurd naming rights are of unchecked corporate greed, I’m all for stadium sponsors that sound good and remain in place over time. Names like the Staples Center, Heinz Field, Gillette Stadium, and Citi Field are all great. Think about it: it’s boring to name a stadium, say, Detroit Lions Field. Ford Field sounds much better, and its corporate sponsor is even consistent with the city’s identity.
Suffice it to say, Guaranteed Rate Field is not the next iconic American stadium. Better get used to it though: for some reason, the White Sox decided it will be the name of their ballpark until 2029. Oh right, I know the reason. Money!
And what is Guaranteed Rate, anyway?