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Old 01-06-2011, 12:06 AM
Location: Northfield, MN
766 posts, read 1,857,963 times
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Such as sports stadiums. Do you think this has an impact on the culture of a city? And if so, how. I want to write a paper about this for my anthropology class, anyone have any thoughts?
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:37 AM
Location: CT
1,215 posts, read 2,160,301 times
Reputation: 2008
It depends, but generally I think of it as kinda tacky. The first one that comes to mind is the Staples Center in LA, the first time I heard that name I though it was really weird until I looked it up and realized it was named for the company. It just seems like unnecessary overkill on advertisement to me. A modern name put there for advertising now like Nokia or Verizon Center or something (I don't know if places like that exist I'm just giving examples) kinda scream one of two things to me. One, the city has no really great history or culture to draw on in that particular section for older more historic or symbolic names, or two, the city cares very little about history tradition or culture, and sells naming rights for any money it can get cause the almighty dollar is worth everything and more to them, or put another way, their own history and pride and things you can't really put a price on mean nothing to them. I know it's an extreme example that wouldn't happen, but it makes you think, geez, they'd sell their city naming rights and rename themselves McDonald's City if they could. (I love McDonald's by the way, lol)

Another example I thought of is the Sears Tower. Yeah, that was named for a company, but it ended up building quite a history with that name, so I guess history and passage of time is a factor too. For most of my life though, I never realized that it was named after the Sears company, somehow that just never clicked for me, the name stood out more than the store and I guess I thought the names had separate origins. But today, it was renamed the Willis Tower by it's new owners, now that just sucks. That name had a ton of history and national and international recognition, and taking that away and just changing it is like killing a piece of the city and it's history. Unlike my other example, I don't think of the city negatively here because the people were actually generally against it but there was nothing they could do, as opposed to a city whose residents don't really care and don't mind name changes or places being named for advertising and stuff. Actually in this case, I really look down on the company, Willis whatever they are. It's like, why would they do that? Just to get their names out there? It gives me a very negative view of the company, I know business is business, but if they want your business they have to look like they actually care about you, and this looked like the total opposite. Soulless corporate interests.

I guess that brings me to my last point, besides looking shallow, a city that names all it's landmarks after corporations just seems kinda soulless, fake, plastic, manufactured. I do actually have one more point though, I said the Willis name change made them look heartless and not caring but, if a landmark is being built from scratch and sponsored by a company (like Staples Center?), that does give a positive image of them because even though they're doing it to get their names out there obviously, they're not destroying anything like history, they're doing something for the city. So, even if it makes the city look soulless, it's actually a good boost for the company sponsoring the project, and I don't look down on them in that case. At least they're adding something to the city. It's really about how much it looks like the residents just don't care to me.

Well, that's my thoughts on it, quite a bit lol.
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Old 01-06-2011, 04:20 PM
Location: Northfield, MN
766 posts, read 1,857,963 times
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Old 01-06-2011, 04:27 PM
Location: roaming gnome
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Look into Conagra park in Omaha.
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Old 01-06-2011, 04:28 PM
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Confusion, especially when the name changes. Furthermore, an example of misplaced priorities for society generally, we do too much "paying to sit" already, passively watching rather than doing our own activities.
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Old 01-06-2011, 04:59 PM
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Sometimes it fits if the corporation has a strong history with a particular city and is associated with a certain city. Some good examples include Miller Park in Milwaukee and Busch Stadium in St Louis. Like the above person said, sometimes if a landmark has a corporate name long enough you forget it has a corporate name. Sears Tower is a good example as is Wrigley Field and the Chrysler Building. Most of the time it sucks though, especially when the name keeps on changing like the San Francisco Giant's stadium, whatever it is called now.
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Old 01-06-2011, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by MN55 View Post
Sears Tower is a good example
Maybe too good: Willis Tower - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (though when we were there a year ago most of the souvenirs still said "Sears Tower")
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