Great news today out of Cleveland, where the Browns announced that they’ve amicably ended their naming rights deal with a local energy company. Their stadium will now revert to its original name, Cleveland Browns Stadium.
The stadium was named after the team when it opened in 1999 and retained that name until 2013, when the team sold the naming rights. The team could find a new naming advertiser, of course, but there’s no hint of that in today’s announcement, so here’s hoping they keep the original name, at least for the 2023 season.
With this move, the NFL now has four stadiums with non-advertised names. The other three are Arrowhead Stadium (KC), Lambeau Field (Packers), and Soldier Field (Bears).
And yes, I am aware that KC has sold the rights to their field, but they haven’t sold off the name of the stadium itself, which puts them in a different category, at least to me. I’m also aware that some might claim that the Broncos’ situation is analogous to KC’s, but I don’t view it that way because their name applies to the entire facility, not just to the field. I realize others may feel differently, so your mileage may vary and all that.
Worth noting that First Energy is part of the largest bribery scandal in Ohio history link
Yep, the Speaker of the Ohio House of Representative was recently convicted of taking $60 million in bribes from said energy company. The bribes were to get legislation passed that would fleece electricity customers to help bail out two of the company’s failing plants, one of which isn’t even in Ohio. It’s in Indiana!
Sleazebags through and through.
The Chiefs sold the naming rights to Arrowhead in 2021. It’s official name is “GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium”, even if it’s still referred to as “Arrowhead” on TV.
They sold the naming rights to the field, not to the stadium. There’s a difference.
A difference in practice, perhaps, but I would argue not in principle.
I’ve added a note to the text.
That *is* crazy.
Even crazier, and funnier imo, was the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s decision to shell out $80m for the naming rights for a new minor league stadium, then naming it “Las Vegas Ballpark.”
Same thing happened in Appleton Wis.
When the Appleton Foxes (class a) built a new stadium and morphed into the Wisconsin Timber Rattler, the local VCB bought the naming rights for “Fox Cities Stadium” to Kee a local locale in the name.
Since the NFL team in Washington has been sold, can we rebrand / have a name the NFL team contest?
Pretty sure they’re gonna stick with Commanders, no matter who buys the team. They *JUST* completed a rebrand.
If only the new owners would *JUST* return the team to the WFT uniform look/sets…and to put a new stamp on those – add yellow pants!
Ya know…after seeing the new set this past season, and the surprisingly few times they went mono, I have grown to like their new unis a bit more. I’d love it if they just jettison the all-black crap and add gold pants; they can keep the current template if they make that one deletion/addition.
The Washington Generals would have been the perfect name. Alas . . .
I think they should drop commanders. What are they commanders of ? Daniel Snyders skullduggery? I’d have gone with Washington Rogues but the ultimate F you would be to return to the Redskins. I think there are far worse things happening in society than a sports franchise carrying a name that was once used as a racial slur.
Once used? Still is.
St. Louis’ new MLS stadium was going to bear the name of Centene Corp., a healthcare company headquartered here; they backed out less than a year after agreeing to the deal, and the club ended up naming it CityPark, which is a massive upgrade over Centene Stadium. I’m hoping, even if/when the club finds a new advertiser, fans will still refer to it colloquially as CityPark.
This is one St. Louis City fan who is definitely going to keep calling it CityPark. The only question for me is whether I can get a Naming Wrongs shirt (in City Red!) to memorialize that.
The worst of the worst to me is FC Barcelona selling the naming rights of their stadium to Spotify. I applaud the Cleveland Browns and hope they will continue to keep advertising out of the stadium name.
Again, this wasn’t a voluntary move, it was a p.r. necessity. So don’t give the Browns any undue credit. There will be another corporate sponsor just as soon as they can find one.
If memory serves, Cleveland said they were the first stadium (or maybe among the first) that didn’t sell the naming rights for the whole building; they sold the naming rights for each entry gate.
Was there ever a “I’m still calling it Cleveland Browns Stadium” shirt? Did Clevelanders still call it that after they sold the naming rights?
We don’t do Naming Wrongs shirts for Giants Stadium, Cleveland Browns Stadium, or other building names that include team names, for reasons you can probably guess.
We kind of leaned into it since First Energy is a local company. I have a couple t shirts I bought off the street that called it the “Power House”.
Mostly we just said “the stadium”. If anything what we miss is old Municipal Stadium. It was a pit, but it was *our* pit.
I wish it were a bit more creative than Team Name Stadium, it feels like a placeholder more than a proper name. Even just Cleveland Stadium flows a bit better, but Cuyahoga is also really fun to say and it’s right there just asking to be used.
How is “GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium” different from “Sports Authority Field at Mile High”?
It’s not. Paul’s just decided to take a strangely contrarian stand on this point.
I invite you to find a reference to “Arrowhead Stadium” on the Chiefs website that doesn’t also include “GEHA Field”. I’ll wait. link
It really doesn’t make any sense to me either.
Great example there where the Chiefs twitter account said they have “some great food at GEHA field at Arrowhead” Didn’t realize they were serving food on the actual field