They’ve finally done it, haven’t they– the neighbor of Great American Ball Park, Paul Brown Stadium, has up and sold out.

How many of you are going to continue to refer to it as Paul Brown Stadium? Or do what we’ve done for pretty much the last two decades, and simply differentiate with “the Reds Stadium” and “the Bengals stadium,” leaving the broadcasters to issue the ads?

The only surprising thing about this development downriver is that it took so long. We shrug and maintain that “Great American Ball Park” isn’t nearly as undignified as it could be– some poor minor league team in Colorado plays at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, and the White Sox’s home is not at Comisky, but Guaranteed Rate Stadium. But we can comfort ourselves that no one really uses the official names anyway.

Only deeply uncool official sources ever referred to Riverfront Stadium as Cinergy from that day to this, as well it should be. But we saw this coming with our football team, did we not, seeing the need for protection for our quarterback, not to mention the outlay associated with keeping the quarterback himself? The problem with building a winning team, we have been reminded, is the high cost of maintaining the winning team.

Several suggestions were issued for the renaming of Paul Brown Stadium (my personal favorite: Harambe Field at Gorilla Glue Stadium) but these were all in jest, as we are all well aware that we’re going to do as we’ve always done before: They’re the Reds stadium, and the Bengals stadium, and that is that.

Quick: What’s the official name of Riverfront Coliseum these days? You don’t know. You don’t know because it’s The Coliseum, and you stopped keeping track about two name changes ago.

We’re going to wince seeing the lovely Art Deco PAUL BROWN STADIUM lettering replaced with a corporate logo, but there’s no way around it. We keep the name or the winning team. We cannot have both.

Do you want the name or do you want the ring? Pick, sports fans.

It’s interesting that the Reds have remained to the Great American contract this long; stadiums in larger cities have swapped one name for another several times, but there’s never been so much of a whisper of a stadium re-sell out in Reds Country.

This shred of dignity, which we do not appreciate enough, I admit, is precarious. It’s been with us so long that sometimes we forget that our ball park is a giant commercial at all. And maybe we don’t truly value the maintenance of the name because– well, we call it exactly what we did when we had Cinergy Field and Riverfront Stadium: “The stadium.” Does it really matter?

But consider that Bob does, in fact, Sell The Team. This new owner upends his or her wallet, but the cash cascading down upon a revitalized Reds team comes at the price of one giant PURE ROMANCE FIELD AT CHARMIN TOILET PAPER BALL PARK sign looming over the cityscape.

Do you take that deal, Reds fans?

20 Responses

  1. Richard Fitch

    With my head bowed deeply in shame, I do take that deal.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      Nobody looks at the name anyway…. (much.)

  2. west larry

    I want to win! I’ll take that name and all the shame that comes with it. If we do have a crappy year, the stadium name fits the team.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      It would be quite the bounceback from the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020.

  3. Pablo

    Great American “only” has to pay $75mill over 30 years for those naming rights. Not a bad deal in this day and age.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      Locked in those rates before inflation spike. Good call.

  4. LDS

    Riverfront will always be Riverfront. And sadly, counting the COVID shortened season, GAPB has only seen 5 winning seasons (2010,2012,2013, 2020, 2021) out of 20 seasons, so I guess we should be thankful folks refer to it as Reds Stadium instead of Field of Losers. So, if a new owner comes in and sells the naming rights to Charmin? I’m good with it if they WIN.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      Maybe P&G will offer a less snickery name. Always Maxipad Stadium, perhaps.

  5. D Ray White

    The fan gift giveaways at Pure Romance Field would generate some buzz…

    • Daytonnati

      Every day would be “Buck Farmer Day”.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      Well, we are getting screwed….

  6. Mark Moore

    I’d take an unpronounceable character as the name if it meant a new ownership that actually cared about winning baseball …

    Names change based on financial agreements, but we fans don’t really give a white rat’s hiney. That field in Cleveland will always be “The Jake” to me. I remember my late brother Mike calling me from “The BOB” in Phoenix.

    Some will endure legally … some will change because of the money. But it won’t register with most of us in any significant way.

    Thanks for the grounded reminder, MBE. Watching the Metropolitans cream our boys makes me need that. Now we can turn our focus to our guys coming out of the corn tomorrow night.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      I can’t wait to see Joey come out of the corn. He left a lovely thread on Twitter today about his father and what this event means to him.

  7. Jim Walker

    Given the quality of play of the home team for most of the seasons it has played at the venue, the suggested name sounds superlative!

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      P&G also sells incontinence products. More fitting than we know.

  8. Joe Shaw

    Given the extent to which the baseball team has been (and likely will be) on the receiving end of what the the Brits call a “proper rogering,” perhaps they lean into the skid and name it KY Jelly stadium.

    That might ease the pain some.

  9. Joey Red

    If the Reds ever become relevant again so I can actually go to games again I wouldn’t care what the stadium was called. The Reds are playing today near The Field of Dreams. Their next home game will be at The Field of Nightmares.

  10. Gary

    Personally, and for what it’s worth, I’ve always had a problem with America’s professional sports venues’ names being sold out all in the name of the almighty dollar.

    Why do I feel that way you say? I guess I’m about as “old school” as they come these days and perhaps too much of a traditionalist.

    In this day and age selling the naming rights has definitely become a true necessity rather than a whim or desire. I understand that to be sure.

    But for the record, NEVER, EVER, did I refer to Riverfront Stadium as “Cinergy Field”. That might have been an appropriate name for an outhouse out in the country, but NOT on such a hallowed and revered piece of Cincinnati sports history. For it was ALWAYS and FOREVER shall be remembered at Riverfront Stadium.

    • Gary

      I had a couple of typos and could not edit my remarks. Sorry.