Yeah, so they named the new arena that's being built in downtown Louisville. The powers that be ignored my suggestion of "Downtown Arena" (it tells you what it is and where it's located) to go with The KFC Yum! Center. No, really. And yes, that is a Taco Bell logo on the roof. *sigh*
I realize someone has to pay for this money-sucking albatross, but corporations always go the extra mile when it comes to hucksterism. I'd have absolutely no problem if the arena was simply called The KFC Center. I was hoping Dad's Muffler Shop (where there's "No Muff Too Tuff") would win the inevitable naming battle, but since they didn't, why not KFC? It's the Yum! part, complete with exclamation point, that annoys me. For fuck's sake, do they have to beat us over the head with the worst company name of all time? Does there have to be Pizza Hut and Taco Bell logos on the roof? When has Louisville ever been associated with a double melty crunchy-max gordita? Worst of all, it just doesn't sound like a place where you watch basketball games and concerts. "Hey, let's skip on down to the Yum! Center and eat gummy bears sprinkled with fairie dust."
With naming rights come concession rights, which means we won't be able to get anything decent to eat at the arena. This is good news for all of the local restaurants that are popping up near the construction site. If I'm a restaurant owner and my main competition for dining dollars is a heat-lamp-warmed personal pan pizza, I'm leasing a Rolls Royce and auditioning trophy wives. Well, maybe not...but I'd buy a new pair of jeans and a jaunty hat!
I'm sure the arena is going to be a state of the art facility blah blah blah; it just has a stupid name. Locals are already calling it "The KFC Bucket" so I guess it doesn't matter what our corporate overlords want. The people have spoken.
I probably won't go to a lot of basketball games there. I love the University of Louisville, but the last game I went to at old Freedom Hall just plain got on my nerves. Every timeout was sponsored by someone: "This season-ending knee injury was brought to you by the Norton Hospital Bone and Joint Center." At one point, a camera panned the crowd and fans were encouraged to "act crazy" to win a Kroger supermarket card. As people whored themselves out for free groceries, I wanted to take the courtside microphone and scream out "ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!" all Russell Crowe like.