Rep. Jan Angel, R-Port Orchard, introduced a bill Monday allowing naming rights to be sold for bridges and other transportation facilities to help pay their operations and maintenance costs. She suggested the idea months ago to take a bite out of rising tolls on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
Tolls were raised by a buck in July and are expected to go up another dollar his summer. Most people will be paying $6. For somebody crossing every weekday, that’s $120 a month.
House Bill 1051 would put the Washington State Transportation Commission, which is already in charge of naming things like new ferries, in charge of selling naming rights. It would be required to submit a report on its guidelines by the end of the year.
I don’t like naming rights because it’ll be like stadiums. You don’t even know where they are anymore. And once you finally learn, somebody else buys up the rights, like Quest and Century Link.
For example, where are these major league baseball stadiums?: Chase Field. Citizens Bank Park. Progressive Field. PETCO Park. Citi Field. AT&T Park. Miller Park. Comerica Park. U.S. Cellular Field. Target Field. PNC Park.
Answers: Chase Field Phoenix). Citizens Bank Park (Philly). Progressive Field (Cleveland). PETCO Park (San Diego). Citi Field (Queens). AT&T Park (San Francisco). Miller Park (Milwaukee). Comerica Park (Detroit). U.S. Cellular Field (Chicago). Target Field (Minneapolis). PNC Park (Pittsburgh).
I guess it could work for everybody if the sponsor and team/city were combined in a name, like they do with some of the bowl games. The Discover Orange Bowl. The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. The Rose Bowl Game Presented By Vizio. It’s hard to fit all that in a headline, though.
With the bridge, it could be something like the Emerald Queen Tacoma Narrows Bridge. And you don’t need to stop there. You could name the Hood Canal (it’s officially the William A. Bugge Bridge), Warren Avenue, Manette and Agate Pass bridges, and the ferry boats. The Kitsap Sun Manette Bridge. The Kitsap Sun Kaleetan. Think of all the exposure.
Angel’s bill contains a list of naming no-nos. It can’t be obscene, discriminatory, religious or political. It can’t promote tobacco, marijuana, illegal narcotics, tawdry films or video games, adult content or false material.
If you want your name on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, you have at least a year to save up.