Greater Greater Washington

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"There is not going to be a Quaker Oats Metro station"

Councilmember Jim Graham (rightly) put to rest speculation that DC may rename the Navy Yard Metro station after the corporate sponsor who buys naming rights to the new ballpark. Meanwhile, New York announced plans to rename every station on the 4 and D trains after corporations with all the money going to the Yankees. OK, they didn't, but if Hank Steinbrenner were to hang out in New Jersey one day they might display just the sort of spinelessness we are spared (at least this time) on the DC Council.
David Alpert is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Greater Greater Washington and Greater Greater Education. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He loves the area which is, in many ways, greater than those others, and wants to see it become even greater. 

Comments

I think WMATA should entertain the idea of renaming the Navy Yard station if the stadium name is sponsored. The fee would have to compensate for the costs of changing all those signs throughout the system, and should also have an additional fee per year to reflect the advertising value of having your name everywhere.

I would draw the line between this situation, where you're changing the name to reflect what something nearby is really called, as opposed to a pure "naming rights" situation, where you're renaming the station just for the hell of it, because you're getting paid.

So, "Gallery Place/Chinatown/Verizon Center" -> Good, if WMATA gets $$$, but "Rosslyn/Verizon", not good.

by Michael on Feb 29, 2008 3:59 pm • linkreport

There is a legitimate question of facilitating rider information. Especially with a new stadium at a new location, it seems reasonable to expect a lot of people not to know that Navy Yard is where you go. (Hey, maybe the Navy will buy the naming rights and call the field Navy Yard!) So SOME acknowledge of the stadium might be helpful (especially with ANOTHER stop labeled Stadium).

by Adam on Feb 29, 2008 6:38 pm • linkreport

Well, you can easily facilitate rider information with a stop that's renamed "Navy Yard - Ballpark." There are other examples, too, such as Chicago's El, and the "Sox - 35th" station on the Red line (even though there's no corresponding name for stops near Wrigley Field).

I think the concern is not just about selling out, but that any stadium with corporate naming rights is subject to frequent name changes (see the Verizon Center, or Baltimore's football stadium). You don't have that problem, of course, if you just tack a non-specific yet still descriptive modification to the name, such as "Gallery Place/Chinatown - Arena."

I think "Navy Yard - Ballpark" will work just fine, but it's worth waiting to see what the actually name of the stadium will be before changing anything.

by Alex B. on Mar 1, 2008 6:39 pm • linkreport

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