As Naming Rights deals increase in breadth and frequency, inevitably so does the probability of strange, ill-fitted, or downright hilarious stadium and arena names.
Here are eight of the wackiest past and present sports facility names we liked best:
#1-Dick's Sporting Goods Park - Colorado Rapids, USA
Originally slated to be called ‘Dick Park’, representatives of the soccer-specific stadium that is home to the Colorado Rapids decided in the end to go with the more demure title of Dick’s Sporting Goods Park - a good example of how a little extra context can make a big difference!
#2-HUNKY DORYS PARK -DROGHEDA, IRELAND
Drogheda F.C, known as the Boynesiders by fans, was once a strong contender at the premier level in the League of Ireland, defeating Cork F.C to win the FAI cup as recently as 2005. Unfortunately things took a turn for the worse, with the club falling into financial troubles, experiencing a steady losing streak, and barely escaping extinction in 2009, only to have their home stadium named after a chip in 2010. Needless to say, things aren’t going quite as ‘hunky dory’ as the club would like.
#3-Bumthang Stadium -Jakar, Bhutan
While soccer is growing all the time, archery remains as Bhutan’s national, and consequently most popular, sport. It appears as though despite the introduction of this state of the art soccer specific stadium the Bhutanese people still wouldn’t exactly consider soccer to be their number one ‘thang’.
#4-Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium -Graz, Austria
Originally named after the famous bodybuilder, actor, and governor of California who was born near Graz, Austria, the stadium name came under harsh criticism when Schwarzenegger failed to halt the execution of Stanley Tookie Williams during his term as Governor of California. After a number of days of intense discussion over whether to change the stadium name, Schwarzenegger ‘terminated’ the debate by revoking the city of Graz’s rights to the use of his name. The facility is now known as UPC-Arena.
#5-Wankdorf Stadion (Demolished) -Bern, Switzerland
The Swiss Berner Sports Club’s ‘Young Boys’’ move from the old Wankdorfstadion to the new ‘Stade de Suisse’ in 2005, sparked what is potentially the greatest football headline of all time. The Stade de Suisse is the second largest football stadium in Switzerland and cost more than any other building in Switzerland at the time, effectively ‘dorfing’ the Wankdorfstadion that it replaced.
#6-Whataburger Field -Corpus Christi, Texas
In 2005, the Texas-based fast food chain Wataburger paid an undisclosed amount for the naming rights to a minor league baseball stadium in Corpus Christi, Texas where it was headquartered at the time. Home to the Corpus Christi Hooks, the field will carry the title ‘Whataburger’ until at least 2020 when the contact expires. Whataname!
#7-Middelfart Stadion -Middelfart, Denmark
The stadium is named after the small Danish town within which it resides. To date no unpleasant odors have been reported by the home team, Middelfart G&Bk.
#8-Bargain Booze Stadium -Northwich, England
Perhaps the most overtly hilarious stadium name was Bargain Booze Stadium in Northwich, England. Home ground of Witton Albion FC, the stadium’s partnership with the discount alcohol brand sadly (but perhaps not surprisingly) didn’t last for more than a couple seasons. The naming rights were bought for an undisclosed amount, but with a name like that we can only hope that the city got a good ‘bargain’, perhaps paired with a couple of cheap glasses of strong liquor to wash down their potentially contentious decision.
Naming Rights are essential in today’s market. Sports Franchises around the globe depend on the income from multi-million dollar naming rights deals, public sector groups are increasingly turning to naming rights to supplement government funding (or lack thereof). College sports arenas are even joining in on the trend, opening up the naming rights to their sports facilities to the multiple corporations looking to get in front of student demographics. Naming rights are here to stay, and with them perhaps so are some hilarious and wacky stadium names.