US Government loses its mind
By Josh Simons on Apr 01, 2007
The US government, specifically the Department of Commerce, lost its mind late last week when it announced a pilot program to grant naming rights to qualifying corporations for a small number of well-known government facilities frequented by tourists. Qualifying corporations will be allowed to rename these facilities in exchange for licensing fees to "defray maintenance costs and to foster a more modern, relevant vistor experience."
We've all seen the controversies and outrage generated by the renaming of sports and entertainment complexes over the last several years. Monster Park, Fleet Center, Tweeter Center, to name a few. Check here on Wikipedia for a more comprehensive list. I can't believe Commerce could possibly think the benefits of this program will outweigh the hue and cry it will generate.
Hoover Dam (above) was the very first facility "adopted" under the program, and by a foreign company, too. While this is admittedly a master stroke of sorts by the British vacuum manufacturer Dyson (Hoover is Dyson's largest competitor), their press release (registration required) left me speechless. It was all I had feared and worse. One of their concept photos (below) from the release tells the story far better than any outraged rant on my part could.
The Department of Commerce's really poor justification for all of this is here.