When Will Skadden Finally Get Its Own Stadium?

I love that the Utah Jazz has sold their stadium naming rights to Energy Solutions, a nuclear waste storage company. The Times reports a series of great nicknames that savvy Salt Lake sportos have suggested for the facility. The Tox Box. The Glow Bowl. The JazzMat. And of course, my own personal favorite, Radium Stadium.

We have become so accustomed to commercialization of just about everything that this story, while humorous, is entirely plausible. And that’s lucky, because it’s true. I wonder if a stadium naming opportunity can be created for any legit company in America. How about Jack Daniels Stadium or the Marlboro Center? (If these names don’t play in Utah, perhaps they’d work in a place like Chicago.) Perhaps Howard Dean should have ponied up some cash and taunted Jazz fans by renaming the place Democratic National Party Hall. (Would locals derisviely call it the Dean Dome? And if t-shirt makers emblazoned souveniers with the motto, could Carolinians sue?)

Which all leads nowhere, except to ponder whether law firms will ever get into the biz. Surely Skadden, Arps would benefit from having the firm’s name surface regularly on NBA-TV and ESPN. I’m convinced there are some great nicknames a law-firm-titled stadium could generate, but for now I’m somewhat stumped. MoFoField just doesn’t knock my socks off. Anyone have suggestions?

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12 Responses

  1. MP says:

    Proskauer Rose Bowl?

  2. C says:

    There already exists:

    John O’Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium (University of Houston)


    Joe Jamail Field at Darryl K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (University of Texas-Austin)

  3. David S. Cohen says:

    How long before players sell their names to an advertiser so that announcers calling the game (who are paid by the teams, so they’ll follow whatever the players and teams agree on) have to say something like this: “And here’s the pitch from Norelco Roger Clemens. Budweiser Albert Pujols swings and hits a hard liner just past the diving glove of Chrysler Jeff Bagwell.”

  4. Law Student '06 says:

    I don’t see how the example with players selling their names would work. Sure, Roger Clemens can sell himself to Norelco, but that doesn’t prevent people from mentioning Clemens by his name without any advertising reference. The announcers would be free to just say the player’s name unless the team forced them to use it.

    Now, if Roger Clemens legally changed his name to “Norelco Clemens” we might have a different story!

  5. Anonymous MoFo says:

    Upon your request for suggestions, MoFo immediately sprang to mind, and, I would assume, into the minds of several thousand other attorneys across the country.

    Let’s face it: half of us actually chose the firm because of the timeless e-mail address: soandso@mofo.com. How could I turn down that offer?

  6. David S. Cohen says:

    Law Student ’06 – the announcers (other than the national ones) are employed by the individual teams, so they would be forced by the team to use the corporate name either a) just to please the players or b) because the player would include a clause in his contract with the team requiring the team to refer to him in that way. I fully expect this to happen in the next 10 years or so.

  7. Law Student '06 says:


    I think the problem with your reasoning is that you assume that the teams would accept such contractual provisions. I agree that the players are incredibly strong at the bargaining table (certainly when compared to the rest of organized labor). However, in this instance, the teams have a shared common goal (maintaining their own authority and power). I don’t think this is the type of agreement that would fly.

    Also, it’s true that the team does hire announcers, but there is no way to guarantee the usage of the trade name in other national media. There is no way ESPN or Fox would accept these types of provisions, as it would undermine their ability to self-advertise. Thus, the sponsorship value of such an agreement would be diminished.

    Also, another problem with naming rights of certain players is that they are sponsored by a number of different corporations. For example, let’s say Roger Clemens had deals with Pepsi and Nike. Would Pepsi want “Nike Roger Clemens” endorsing their product? I don’t think so.

    While I am sure people will think of the idea, I just can’t see it going anywhere.

  8. David S. Cohen says:

    Not to beat a dead horse, but:

    1) In your example, I’m sure Pepsi could pay Roger Clemens enough so that he’s not associated with any other product.

    2) You don’t think that a team would agree to have Roger Clemens (or his equivalent in future years) on its roster and also agree to whatever contractual provisions he wants? I think you underestimate the power the players have at the bargaining table, especially the elite ones (who would be the ones the corporations would approach to sponsor).

  9. C says:

    In 1976, the early days of Major League free agency, the Atlanta Braves signed pitcher Andy Messersmith. Braves owner Ted Turner suggested the nickname “Channel” and uniform no. 17 for Messersmith to promote his television station (the nickname “Channel” appearing on the back of the jersey where the last name typically appears and below it the uniform no. 17).

    MLB nixed the idea.

  10. Thom says:

    A Crummy Del Deo stadium perhaps. I feel as though I’ve already sat on the cold bleachers at that stadium. Other fun possibilities: Tbe Bryan Cave or The Preston Gates would require no nickname.

  11. David S. Cohen says:

    C – MLB nixed that idea . . . in 1976. 30 years later, we have all the wonderful corporate sponsorships we now all know and love. MLB might be queasy about individual sponsorship, but I doubt they’d nix it now.

    [MLB owners also hated Ted Turner back then, so I’m sure the decision was more personal than about the integrity of the game. After all, these are baseball team owners we’re talking about here.]

  12. arthur says:

    Shea Stadium, home of the Mets, is named for the deceased name partner of Shea & Gould, a deceased major New York law firmm.