How About Naming Rights For the State Capitol Building?

Joel Fox

Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily


For $12 million a year, the Los Angeles Dodgers are willing to offer naming rights to the field within Dodger Stadium on which the ball club plays. If that helps the Dodgers meet its budget obligations, perhaps the state should adopt a similar plan. Wonder how much the state could get for naming rights for parks, harbors, or buildings?

People might object to Del Notre Coast Redwoods State Park brought to you by the Pacific Lumber Company or Sonoma Coast State Park presented by Chicken of the Sea.

But rich California companies that want to be associated with classics of nature and contribute to the state budget’s bottom line might be persuaded. Google Calaveras Big Trees State Park is a mouthful but could bring in big bucks to fill some budget needs without the current go-to method of raising taxes.

Actually, as professors Ronald C. Fisher of Michigan State and Robert W. Wassmer of Cal State, Sacramento wrote in State Tax Notes last year discussing the possibilities of naming rights and sponsorships of public properties, the state park system has developed a Proud Partnership program to ‘‘allow corporations and businesses to reach out to the more than 70 million people that visit California’s 280 state parks each year. Partners may align themselves with an individual park, or with the entire State Park System. ’’

The professors see potential for state revenue with so many visitors to the state parks if the state is willing to go beyond the Partner’s Program to actual naming rights.

Politically, it is probably safer to stay away from the parks and a probable backlash from environmentalists. Consider naming state owned buildings instead.

It is not uncommon in the sports and entertainment world to buy naming rights for arenas and even with sacred institutions like the Rose Bowl Game, er, I mean, the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual.

How does the Apple State Capitol Building sound? Or the Chevron State Capitol Building?

Not right, I guess. Reflects too much influence over the workings inside the building. But if influence is to be taken into account then there is a ready-made name for that particular building: the Public Employees State Capitol Building!

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