Many are happy that the Baltimore Arena — formerly 1st Mariner Arena — just inked a new naming-rights deal. At $250,000 a year, it’s more than three times as lucrative as the old deal. Plus Royal Farms is a Baltimore-based company, and it’s nice to see that kind of engagement from a local company.
Comptroller Joan M. Pratt takes issue with the lack of transparency during the selection process. But most bones to pick have been aesthetic in nature. Royal Farms Arena, as it will be known beginning Nov. 1, doesn’t exactly sound upscale — even with the word royal in there. The deal has inspired some jokes about fried chicken on Twitter, as well as some sighs of misgivings.
Former executive director of the Baltimore Arena Charles A. Neustadt, who dislikes corporate naming-rights deals in general, told the Baltimore Sun: “Are there classier names than Royal Farms? Probably. Are there less classy names? Probably.”
City Councilman Carl Stokes’s heart isn’t really in it either. “Frankly, I’d rather it be called the Baltimore Arena, but I understand the business model that is always used for arenas and stadiums,” he said.
Twitter user @BaltimoreRAS has my favorite reaction. He is dead against the name, but is a fan of Royal Farms chicken.
Baltimore Arena is now Royal Farms arena? I’ve never heard of an arena being named after a damn convenience store. No shade to RoFo chicken
— Ryan (@BaltimoreRAS) September 16, 2014
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