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We’re not getting worked up over the new name for the Rangers ballpark, are we?

Feb 5, 2014, 1:25 PM EDT

Ballpark in Arlington

The Rangers’ ballpark has a new name: Globe Life Park in Arlington. It’s named after the Globe Life insurance company. Based on what I’ve seen from Twitter and the comments from the earlier post on the matter, it’s not going over too well. It’s either too dull, too lame, too corporate or too whatever else you can think of.

And I really can’t get too worked up over any of this.

The two most venerable ballparks in baseball are named after a gum company and an insurance company. Oh, you didn’t know that about Fenway Park?

[Red Sox owner John] Taylor claimed the name Fenway Park came from its location in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston, which was partially created late in the nineteenth century by filling in marshland or “fens“,[10] to create the Back Bay Fens urban park. However, given that Taylor’s family also owned the Fenway Realty Company, the promotional value of the naming at the time has been cited as well.

How about all three iterations of Busch Stadium?

The brewery originally wanted to name the ballpark Budweiser StadiumFord Frick, then Commissioner of Baseball, vetoed the name because of public relations concerns over naming a ballpark after a brand of beer—an ironic stance, given all baseball clubs’ significant revenues from beer sales. However, the Commissioner could not stop Anheuser-Busch president August Busch, Jr. from renaming it after himself, and so he did . . .

Most ballparks have corporate names now or, like Fenway and Wrigley, have some commercial history to the name. The ones that don’t are Angels Stadium, Dodger Stadium, Yankee Stadium, Kauffman Stadium, Marlins Park, Nationals Park, and Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Turner Field is named after Ted Turner, but his name was on the company which owned the team, so it’s hard to say which way that cuts.

The Angels had a corporate name in the past but reverted. They — and I presume Marlins Park and Nationals Park — would go corporate if the right deal came along. Maybe Orioles Park too. I’m guessing only Yankees, Dodgers and Kauffman would eschew a name-change on principle (or because their brand is bigger than any potential corporate partner’s brand). Turner Field only has a couple of years left and I’d bet my children that the Braves go with a corporate name for the new place.

But I don’t think the jokes made at Globe Park’s expense are because it’s corporate per se. Everyone knows most stadiums have corporate names now. Most people are just mad because it sounds funny. Or flat. But I can’t get too worked up over this either because just about every corporate-named ballpark sounded funny when we first heard it. We just got used to it.

We have Petco Park, which is frankly ridiculous when you think about it. There are two parks named after orange juice. “Comerica” is not a word. Do you know anyone who even uses U.S. Cellular? Really, only the parks named after beer and Great American Ballpark — which a lot of people probably don’t realize is named after an insurance company — sound sort of natural. The rest is just a mishmash of telecom and banking and stuff.

I predict people will joke about Globe Park in Arlington for a couple of days. And will make note of its awkwardness for the first two days of the season at most. And then we’ll just get used to it until the next silly corporate park name comes along.

Or, better yet, we’ll just keep calling it The Ballpark. Those guys at Globe aren’t paying us, after all. So why should we dance to their tune?

  1. chacochicken - Feb 5, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    Damn the Man! Save the Empire!

  2. beefytrout - Feb 5, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    check the Rangers facebook announcement post… virtually everyone thinks it’s dumb. It’s not because it’s a corporate name… the name is awkward to say.

    But getting upset over it is dumb, I agree. Especially since we will all just call it The Ballpark like we should.

  3. metroplexsouthsider - Feb 5, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    I was sooooo hoping for “Jerry Jones Ballpark in Arlington.” Because that’s the only way Jethro’s going to get his name mentioned in the postseason for years to come.

  4. proudlycanadian - Feb 5, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    Is it any worse than “World Series”?

    • happytwinsfan - Feb 5, 2014 at 2:15 PM

      you didn’t think it had a nice ring to it in 92 and 93?

      • proudlycanadian - Feb 5, 2014 at 3:03 PM

        There were only 2 countries directly involved and one of them had our flag upside down.

  5. tysonpunchinguterus - Feb 5, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    I definitely wouldn’t say Globe Life Park sounds flat. This isn’t the 1400s ya know!

  6. umrguy42 - Feb 5, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    As a Cards fan who grew up in the 80s, calling the stadium (even the new one!) something *other* than “Busch Stadium” would just be too weird. (Of course, now that InBev owns A-B, who knows what could happen down the road.)

  7. 18thstreet - Feb 5, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    Are we getting worked up over something unimportant?


  8. historiophiliac - Feb 5, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    Thanks, Obama!

    • Old Gator - Feb 5, 2014 at 2:12 PM

      The vulgarization of the national pastime by a vomit of advertising and profit-gouging is merely one of the last, dying gasps of late capitalism during its implosion into mere oligarchy. I’m gonna warm up some popcorn in honor of the dignity of field labor, sit back, enjoy the spectacle, and wait for the Revolution to ring my doorbell.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 5, 2014 at 2:26 PM

        You can ring my be-el-el, ring my bell!

      • gloccamorra - Feb 5, 2014 at 7:14 PM

        Pro golf tournaments already went through all that, first with city names, then celebrities (the Hope, the Crosby,) and morphed into corporate. The Crosby is now the AT&T, the Hope is the Humana Challenge, and the purses went from $250,000 to $7-8 million. It’s all about the Benjamins.

  9. aphillieated - Feb 5, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    Yeehaw field.

    • historiophiliac - Feb 5, 2014 at 2:09 PM

      The House that Obamacare Built!

  10. scatterbrian - Feb 5, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    With all the scratch teams are making on TV deals now, and with naming rights having an average annual profit of $1.5M to $3M, I would think teams would realize that retaining a team- or city-based stadium naming convention would be worth it.

  11. Mark Armour - Feb 5, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    The naming rights have little value once the old name has been firmly established. No one gave a crap when Candlestick got a real name. I still call the Giants park PacBell. Safeco will always be Safeco, no matter what happens down the road. And The Ballpark at Arlington is the name. Sorry, naming sponsors.

    • scatterbrian - Feb 5, 2014 at 3:00 PM

      Agreed. Pretty much everyone who doesn’t talk for a living refers to Oakland’s digs as the Coliseum.

    • Detroit Michael - Feb 5, 2014 at 3:05 PM

      Don’t forget that the Astros play in Enron Field!

  12. uwsptke - Feb 5, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    At least to my knowledge baseball teams have refrained from seperately naming the playing field. I cringe whenever I have to hear something like “Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.”

    “Globe Life Park” just doesn’t flow off the tongue like a beer sponsored arena – Miller Park, Busch Stadium, Coors Field… they just sound right.

  13. penguins87and71 - Feb 5, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    Who cares it’s just a name for a stadium.

  14. babyfarkmcgeezax - Feb 5, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    “We’re not getting worked up over the new name for the Rangers ballpark, are we?”

    I don’t know, Craig, are you? How are we supposed to know whether you’re getting worked up over it? So now we’re supposed to know not only where your popcorn is, but also whether you are worked up over the Rangers ballpark issue, as if we are magical wizards with a crystal ball? Even Louie Gohmert displays more logic and intelligence than you.

    • cur'68 - Feb 5, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      What we do know for sure is that you’re an idiot.

    • nymets4ever - Feb 5, 2014 at 4:04 PM

      His Majesty has decreed that we are forbidden from having our own thoughts on the topic of ballpark names. Honestly, I don’t even know why Craig keeps comment sections under his postings, considering how he routinely predetermines all of our opinions for us.

  15. misterschmo - Feb 5, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    The most ridiculous name isn’t even corporate. The Los Angeles (Formerly California) Angels of Anaheim always reminded me of the East Westchester NorthStars (Champions of the Southern League).

    • asimonetti88 - Feb 5, 2014 at 3:49 PM

      Los Angeles (Formerly California) Angels of Anaheim playing at Angel (Formerly Edison) Stadium of Anaheim.

      Damn you Arte Moreno.

      • km9000 - Feb 5, 2014 at 4:15 PM

        All right, which one of you is the real Rob Neyer?

  16. nymets4ever - Feb 5, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    Well, I happen to think it’s always kind of a bummer when a ballpark goes from being team-named to corporate-named. A little charm/identity definitely gets lost in the process.

    As a Mets fan, it’s still kind of a shame to call our home park Citi Field instead of Shea Stadium, especially if you know the story of William Shea and all that he did to bring National League baseball to New York. The blow is eased somewhat if the corporate name still manages to be semi-cool – “Citi Field” can be thought of “(New York) City Field,” “Great American Ballpark” feels like it pays homage to the “Great American Pastime,” etc. Unfortunately, “Globe Life Ballpark” doesn’t seem to have that advantage.

    But hey, his Majesty Craig has decreed that it’s much ado about nothing, so I guess all of us faceless denizens must reprogram their brain chips to get on the same wavelength as the Master of the Universe.

  17. RickyB - Feb 5, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    It’s still Comiskey Park in my mind …

  18. jgillmeister - Feb 5, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    You reference Wrigley Field as an example of corporate sponsorship. You should be aware that Wrigley Field has no corporate sponsorship. The Wrigley family hasn’t owned the club for decades, and the Wrigley Gum company never paid a dime in sponsorship money to the team. The Tribune Company purchased the team in 1981. The team was then sold to the Ricketts family in 2009

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 5, 2014 at 5:05 PM

      He said OR, like Fenway and Wrigley, have some commercial history to the name.

  19. adross47 - Feb 5, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    Good job insulting and alienating 10.5 million US Cellular customers, Craig.

  20. robmoore - Feb 5, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    The Marlins should propose naming their park after a different corporation every year, only to withdraw the proposal after that company pays them off to not be associated with them.

  21. shadowcell - Feb 5, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    Eh. They renamed Arrowhead Pond here in Anaheim to “the Honda Center” years ago, and we all still call it the Pond (or the Ponda Center). And Arrowhead Pond was still a corporate name, too. I’m sure the locals will keep calling it The Ballpark, or come up with something better.

  22. doctorofsmuganomics - Feb 5, 2014 at 5:38 PM

    Whine more Craig

  23. millmannj - Feb 5, 2014 at 6:10 PM

    I call the place the Mets play New Shea.

  24. keltictim - Feb 5, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    I would argue Yankee stadium is a corporate sponsored name unto itself

  25. fearthehoody - Feb 5, 2014 at 6:36 PM

    Here corporate piggy, piggy, piggies! Time to eat!

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