COMMENTARY | In a move expected since the Portland Trail Blazers hired L.A.-based Premier Partnerships in January, the Rose Garden Arena has officially been renamed Moda Center at the Rose Quarter, effective immediately.
The name change marks the end of an era in Portland and leaves the NBA with just three non-corporate sponsored arenas: Madison Square Garden, New Orleans Arena, and The Palace of Auburn Hills.
However, in a nice touch and a nod to the past, Blazers owner Paul Allen requested that the yet-to-be-released logo contain a rose as a salute to the city of Portland.
As expected, the majority of the fan reaction fell somewhere between apathy and anger. While most fans took to Twitter to express their displeasure, formal petitions and websites urging the team to change the name back have also popped up.
During the press conference announcing the name change, Trail Blazers president Chris McGowan addressed the fans' concerns directly, saying:
"I'd like to talk to our fans a little bit. These are the types of deals that you have to do as an organization to raise your organization to another level. I want the fans to know because of the benefits of this deal, we're going to be able to do a lot of things that will directly impact our fans. Things like fan experience, facility improvements, it even goes down to the court, it helps us be a more competitive basketball team. I want the fans to know that."
Personally, seeing Moda Center in place of the Rose Garden was jarring, especially when I saw it in print for the first time. But chances are I will either adapt to the name quickly or simply continue to refer to the building by the old name. If selling the naming rights can help the team both on and off the court, as McGowan discussed, then I'm willing to begrudgingly accept the Moda Center.
Blazers fans have been fortunate enough to support a team that has played in two beautifully named arenas -- Veterans Memorial Coliseum from 1970-1995 and the Rose Garden from 1995-2013 -- and that makes Tuesday's announcement all the more difficult. But look on the bright side, at least the Blazers aren't playing in Sleep Train Arena or something equally awful.
- Sports & Recreation
- Portland Trail Blazers
- Rose Garden Arena
- Madison Square Garden