University of Phoenix or Pink Taco?

Another slow news day in the Mozilla World. Firefox 2.0 RC1 has been released and Wednesday’s nightly build of Thunderbird fixed bug 354829 (see Thunderbird 2.0b1 (20060926 Nightly Build) Problem). So something different, very different. This season the Arizona Cardinals moved to their brand new stadium in Glendale. Prior they had been playing at my alma mater Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe. For the past couple months it has simply been called the Cardinals Stadium. In August, Las Vegas based Pink Taco offered the Cardinals $30 Million for 10 years for the rights to call it ‘Pink Taco Stadium’. The Cardinals were not interested and ‘sack’ the ‘Pink Taco’ Stadium idea, calling it a publicity stunt. Earlier this week the Cardinals announced the new name University of Phoenix of Stadium, a $154 Million for 20 years deal.

For those of you unfamiliar with the University of Phoenix, they are a private college with 39 campus in several US cities (including Phoenix) and a couple in Canada as well as online, operated by The Apollo Group. The school is designed for working professionals who seek to earn their degree while employed full time.

This naming is about as bad as earlier this year when the home of the Phoenix Suns, America West Arena was renamed to US Airways Center (USAC) as a result of the merger of the two airlines. That sounds more like a business park then an arena. Around the same time the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Bank One Ballpark (BOB) became Chase Field as a result of the merger between those two institutions. Chase Field isn’t too bad, at least it is an appropriate name for a baseball park.

I would have taken Pink Taco Stadium any day over University of Phoenix, but looks like we are stuck with the name for the next 20 years. Never has a professional sporting venue been named after a school. At least Pink Taco was something different and may be the Cardinals could have gotten a Pink Taco restaurant at the stadium out the deal as well. I will close with this outstanding comment made on the East Valley Tribune’s online forum: “Nothing like complaining of 15+ years playing in a college stadium to naming your new venue after a private university/school. I’m sure the NCAA will love playing thei Fiesta Bowl and now National Championship game in University of Phoenix Stadium.

2 Comments on University of Phoenix or Pink Taco?

  1. Hi there,

    I created the Pink Taco restaurant & bar concept and opened the original in May 1998 — a year before the Mortons opened theirs.

    The controversy and community response to their version is tame compared to what I faced in ultra-conservative Manhattan, Kansas. We had aggressive picketers, petitioners, hate letters, anonymous threats, an onslaught of negative letters-to-the-editor, and police

    There were many stories in the local papers. The ABC affiliate out of Topeka came to Manhattan and did an on-site story that ran state-wide on the evening news, and the CBS affiliate invited us to join them in-studio for their half-hour morning show (which we declined since things were spiraling out of control).

    I would do Internet searches at the time that would call up page after page of hits about me and my store. My Pink Taco dominated the regional news and spread nationwide through online postings and reprinted stories in towns across the country.

    Anyway, I have written an article recounting the history of the original Pink Taco and the intense controversy it caused (complete with pictures and links to about a dozen of the news stories). You can read it on my blog if you’re interested:

    James W. Sperman

  2. james r. sperman | December 29, 2010 at 9:18 PM |

    It always seems like whenever a good idea comes around everyone has to get a piece of the action. Just an idea, but maybe you could incorpate a breast cancer awareness project and gain a substantial support base? love from kc.

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