When it comes to corporate-sponsorship of venue names, Phoenix is blessed.
Our basketball team plays in U.S. Airways Center, named for a successful local airline. Our hockey team plays in Jobing.com Arena -- anything with a dot com at the end sounds so modern! Our football team plays in the University of Phoenix Stadium, which might make some people think the Cardinals share the space with a college team, although U of P hasn't yet fielded a football squad to play for the glory of their mascot: Trisha, The Fightin' Single Mother With a GED Who Desperately Want To Better Herself.
It's not just venues, either. Our biggest golf event is now called the Waste Management Open, named for the universally beloved company which operates the largest trucking fleet in the trash industry. Garbagemen everywhere can now proudly be associated with Phoenix and Tiger Woods.
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Yesterday we found out that the former Desert Sky Pavilion will now be called the Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion. That's a suave name -- it really rolls off the tongue, don't you think?
Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion... It sounds so sophisticated and exotic, like someplace in France.
Believe it or not, not every city is not as lucky as Phoenix. In fact, there are several places where the corporate-sponsored name of a venue is an embarrassment to the entire town. Here are nine of the worst.
1. 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre
20,000 capacity outdoor concert hall
Leave it to Florida to blow everyone else out of the water with a name so tacky we imagine it grates on everyone who lives in the area. The 1-800-ASK GARY Ampitheatre's name comes from a lawyer referral service and will be in place at least two more years. The worst part about it? The venue used to be known by the comparatively regal "Ford Ampitheatre." The puzzling thing is that the venue is on the Florida State fairgrounds which should make an elected official somewhere in government responsible for this shameful name. Can't this be corrected by recall election?