Money's tight all over for local governments. Rather than do obviously constituent-unfriendly things like raising taxes or fees, they're turning to innovative, not at all creepy ideas, such as selling off naming rights to local parks.
Which is what Fairfax County is contemplating doing with their 24,000 acres of local parks and facilities, The Washington Post reported. After all, the county has a $315 million budget gap to close.
Sure, sure, a few uptight supporters of community individuality will bemoan this as the further corporatization of America, but clearly they're not in favor of funding essential services. You're not gonna mind Boost Wireless Swingset at Sony Field so much when your roads aren't being plowed in the winter and your children can't go to school.
In Cranberry, Pa., a sports park was named after Dick's Sporting Goods. Kiosks at a county-owned trail in King County, Wash., now bear the Starbucks name. One of the most talked-about deals was negotiated between the city of Medford, Ore., and U.S. Cellular for a new sports park. The price tag: $650,000 for six years.
So get used it, suburbanities. Just be thankful that the companies can't lay claim to your streets. Yet.