Thoughts & Views: Playing the name game

What’s in a name? Plenty if it happens to be Avery Fisher, for example. That’s the name that – for now at least – is seen by visitors to the Lincoln Center hall where the New York Philharmonic plays its home games, in the world of musical spheres.

The music philanthropist gifted Lincoln Center $10 million more than four decades ago to keep the venue going and now, as The New York Times recently reported, the home team is reportedly proposing a $15 million buyout in hopes of snagging a bonus baby that’ll give the hometown crowd something to really roar about.

Maybe they’ll use the extra dough to put in reclining seats, more concession stands, bigger bathrooms, a special booth for the organist.

And maybe they’ll sew numbers on the back of the musicians’ tuxes – with a roster listing in the programs – so the patrons can either cheer or razz ‘em, depending on how they play on any given night.

Whatever the L.C. brain trust decides, fans of Avery Fisher will be glad to see that “Buck” Fisher won’t be forgotten: He’s getting a “League of his Own,” with a special wing of exhibits, photos and remembrances.

Yes, naming rights can be tricky. No doubt, people in Houston were mighty upset when Enron – whose moniker was tacked on to the Astros’ baseball field – went bust and the team’s owners, thirsting for a new benefactor, came up with Minute Maid Park.

Looking for University of Louisville’s basketball arena? Just watch for the sign reading: “KFC Yum! Center.”

In keeping with the culinary theme, the Corpus Christie Hooks minor league baseball team in Texas welcomes fans to home games at the Whataburger Field.

And the owners of the minor league team in Manchester, N.H., offer their fans a name they can really sink their teeth into: Northwest Delta Dental Field.

Here at The Observer’s home base in Kearny, where the mayor often laments that there aren’t enough tax dollars to go around, it’s a wonder that the town hasn’t tried to market its Municipal Building, the South Kearny Fire Station/Police Precinct or the Kardinals gridiron stadium to someone with a fat wallet looking for a tax write-off.

How about building a new Town Hall in the redevelopment area on the west side and naming it … you guessed it … Trump on the Passaic. Add on a floating casino and just like that, you’re all set.

Harrison, which – like Kearny – has a state monitor checking its finances, already has the Red Bulls but it should take advantage of its school nickname, the Blue Tide, and explore the possibility of a naming merger with the detergent.

No one has approached me, as of yet, but I’m open to all comers. For a long-term deal, at say, five bucks a week, maybe some town would be willing to put my name above a basement closet door?

You could use it as a repository for all present, past and future columns and keep them under lock and key. For my own protection. Thanks for listening.

– Ron Leir 

The Observer Staff