The day the news broke about the new downtown amphitheater possibly taking on the name of a beer brand, I got a phone call from a reader who was furious about a public facility being named for an alcoholic beverage. There was something almost... I don't know, quaint about her outrage. She said she wanted to take up a collection to give the building a different name and wanted to know: Would $10,000 be enough to persuade the city not to take Bud Light's money?
I tried very hard not to laugh as I explained as gently as I could that, no, $10,000 would not be nearly enough; in fact, based on the $1.5 million Bud Light will pay over the five-year term of the deal, 10 grand would cover less than four months. But something occurred to me that might appease the people who don't want to have to say the words "Bud Light Amphitheater" for the next five years: Call the place something else, too.
For example, Raleigh's city-owned Walnut Creek Amphitheatre has had three different sponsors as part of its name over the past two decades. But because Walnut Creek has always been part of the name, it's always been possible to talk about the place without sounding like a TV commercial.
So let's call the new venue the Bud Light Pavilion at _______________ Amphitheater. You fill in the blank. What should it be?