10 Examples Of Why You Shouldn't Sell Naming Rights To Just Anyone

It’s near-impossible to find a sporting or concert venue in the U.S. without the name of some bank/oil company/car maker/beverage slapped on the front. While most of these are innocuous — and some have even grown to be accepted by the public — there are a handful of naming rights deals where the venue owners shouldn’t have gone with the highest bidder.

The most notorious is the 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre in Tampa, which earned a 95% disapproval rating from locals after taking the naming rights over from Ford in 2010.

Some are just mouthfuls, like the Constellation Brands-Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center in upstate New York. Because it wasn’t enough to have the name of the world’s largest wine company, they made sure to add the name of the founder of the Canandaigua Industries Company, because more names equals more fun for the whole family. Thanks, but we’ll still call it the Finger Lakes PAC.

Sometimes the name on the venue is so low-rent it makes you wonder if there was more than a single bidder for the rights. I’ve never even heard of Jobing.com, but they somehow managed to slap their name on a basketball arena in Arizona.

It should be noted that some of these silly-named venues actually had worse — or at least equally bad — names in previous incarnations. The Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion (a truly rock/roll name if we’ve ever heard one) used to be the Blockbuster Desert Sky Pavilion. And Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood was once the HiFi Buys Amphitheatre. Meanwhile, the Gexa Energy Pavilion may just be an improvement over the Coca-Cola Starplex or the Superpages.com Center.

It’s worth noting that 7 of the 10 venues listed below are owned or operated by Live Nation, parent company of current Worst Company In America contender Ticketmaster.

Here is our list of the 10 worst, brought to you by Brawndo:

10. Jiffy Lube Live; Bristow, VA
9. Gexa Energy Pavilion; Dallas, TX
8. Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood; Atlanta, GA
7. Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach; Virginia Beach, VA
6. Sleep Train Amphitheatre; Wheatland, CA
5. Comfort Dental Amphitheatre; Greenwood Village, CO
4. Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion; Phoenix, AZ
3. Jobing.com Arena; Glendale, AZ
2. Constellation Brands-Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center; Hopewell, NY
1. 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre; Tampa, FL