23 September 2006

A Silly Question For A Saturday; Or, Could We Do That?

I'm watching the English Premeir League on Fox Soccer Channel this morning, before the Michigan game starts. Arsenal is hosting Sheffield United, against whom they just scored, in their new stadium that opened this season. As you may or may not know, the name of the stadium is Emirates Stadium, after the Dubai-based Airline. For the first hour of the match, I didn't give much thought to this choice, since for the past few seasons, Emirates has been one of Arsenal's major sponsors and naming-rights are big business in the UK just as they are here.

Yet, now --- As Arsenal score again --- I can't get the thought out of my mind that were an Arab-owned company to publicly claim the naming-rights to a major American stadium, the uproar would be vitriolic and never-ending. I can't think of a city or team in the country that would assent to such a thing. The protests would be enormous, or at least so tumultuous and potential dangerous it's likely that said stadium would never sell out. And I dare say that no Arab company would even bother because it's so obviously a losing proposition.

I suppose the question, if there really is one, is whether or not you think I'm correct on this. Could it happen?


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