What’s in a name? Plenty, if it’s Dodger Stadium

Could this become In-N-Out Stadium?
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Listen, if you were about to drop a gazillion dollars to purchase a sports team, wouldn’t you be investigating every possible source of income? You know, like raising parking fees?

It’s smart business, not the end of Dodger Stadium. It’s a question. So The Times’ Bill Shaikin reported that one bidder asked about possible revenue by selling the naming rights to Dodger Stadium.

These are supposedly smart business people. I’m more surprised only one bidder inquired. If the Dilbeck Investment Group’s bid had been approved, we would have been all over this. It’s tough to beat the sound of Steve Dilbeck Field. It just sings.

Inquiring about naming rights and actually going there are two different things. When a ballpark has been called the same thing for 51 years, it’s some kind of challenge to drop marketing millions in the hope of rewiring everyone’s brains.


Still, the possibilities. Los Angeles has plenty of industries to nab for naming rights. What about Farmers Field? Oh yeah. Guess Farmers Other Field doesn’t quite work.

Louis B. Mayer Field at MGM Stadium. In-N-Out Park might be a tough sell to those actually sitting in their cars 45 minutes after a game. Los Angeles Times Field – only 212 more layoffs away!

Grant Brisbee at SB Nation has some interesting ideas: “TMZ Park at Dodger Fields. The Dodgers Baseball Experience at Universal Studios’ Dodger Stadium. Death Row Records Stadium. Vivid Entertainment Fields.”

You could name it just about anything you wanted and people are still going to call it Dodger Stadium. I’m thinking this incredibly bright new owner is going to realize that.

These naming rights can get pretty tedious. So many have come and gone. RIP Edison Field, Delta Center, Alltel Stadium, Enron Field, America West Arena, Arrowhead Pond, etc. Fickle San Francisco seems to have a particular problem sticking with a name. Candlestick Park became 3Com Park which became Monster Park which became – OK, we give up! – Candlestick Park. Then there is the Giants’ Phone Company of the Moment Park (And Verizon is getting tired of waiting its turn).

A precious few stadium names become iconic in their own right. And after more than half a century, Dodger Stadium is certainly one of them. Although, come on, Steve Dilbeck Field …


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