Rose Garden rename a win, petition effort a loss

Reilly-TJBy TJ Reilly,
Oregon Small Business Association

The renaming of the Rose Garden Arena to the Moda Center is a win-win for everyone. For the Rose Garden It is a long awaited reward which can lead to new businesses filling the vacant stores and even possibilities of bringing in new franchises such as Arena Football or Major League Hockey. There is even chance that this deal could bolster help for the Memorial Coliseum. For Moda Health, it is a chance for a local Portland based company to break into bigger markets with a splash.

With such success it is unfortunate to see a small minority of Portlanders take to the streets with a petition to pressure Rose Garden management against the name change and to reject helping a local business as they bring new funds to improve the arena. Nearly 3,000 people have signed this petition so far which is not a lot but still represents a step backwards for progress and for small business in Portland.

Right now, Blazers games are still affordable for families to attend. When costs beyond the control of arena managers rise (electricity, taxes, water rates) those costs often get shifted to ticket holders. So it is ironic that people who may not attend Rose Garden events are signing the petition which can contribute to higher ticket costs for fans and concert goers who attend events. If petition signers have a better way to come up with a free $40 million dollars — I would like to hear it.

Renaming an arena is not something new, but not utilizing a name sponsorship is becoming an idea facing extinction. Renaming arenas and stadiums represents the majority of sport fields of the three majors sports. The NBA has named 26 out of 30, the NFL has 25 out of 32 and MLB has 19 out of 30.
Right now, my admiration for Moda Health has increased. They have taken a risk and are investing in our City. So count me in as rooting for both the Blazers and Moda Health.

— T.J. Reilly is the President of the Oregon Small Business Association and owner of Same Day Auto in Clackamas.


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