The Portland Trail Blazers have officially changed the name of their home court from the Rose Garden to the Moda Center.
Portland announced the change as part of a naming-rights deal it struck with Moda Health.
Trail Blazers announce naming rights agreement with Moda Health, Rose Garden renamed Moda Center. pic.twitter.com/nESATqLp7A— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) August 13, 2013
An exact figure hasn't been put on the deal, but per Sports Illustrated's Ben Golliver, it's somewhere in the neighborhood of $4.2 million a year.
Chris McGowan: 10-year Moda Center deal worth "in the ballpark" & "close" to $4.2M/year that was reported, but "denied" that exact number— Ben Golliver (@blazersedge) August 13, 2013
Over 10 years, that amounts to quite a bit of loot. The Los Angeles Lakers probably use such sums of cash as toilet paper, but the Blazers aren't the Lakers.
Before officially unveiling the new name, the Blazers were apparently extra cautious in protecting the arena's new identity. The Columbian's Candace Buckner was kind enough to provide us with a snapshot of just how mysterious their presentation was.
Like James Bond, the Blazers appear to be a team of mystery, sans the license to kill.
Not everyone took too kindly to the obvious financially motivated move, though. Well, almost everyone. It took CBS Sports' Matt Moore a little while to process the name change itself.
OH GOD JUST REALIZED THE BLAZERS RENAMED THEIR AENA AFTER A MEDICAL GROUP OH GOD OH GOD— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) August 13, 2013
Among the unhappy was Woody Wommack of Yahoo! Sports' Rivals.com, who pointed out that the Blazers have now changed the name of the Rose Garden and given Brandon Roy's jersey number to Mo Williams in the same summer.
First the Blazers give Brandon Roy's No. 7 to Mo Williams then they change the name of the Rose Garden? #comeon— Woody Wommack (@RivalsWoody) August 13, 2013
"I think [Moda Center] is the perfect name for an arena." -- Blazers president Chris McGowan— Ben Golliver (@blazersedge) August 13, 2013
Just a hunch, but I'm inclined to believe he's somewhat obligated to say that.
He also went on to discuss what the revenue generated from the agreement was earmarked for.
Chris McGowan says naming rights $ won't be used to add personnel following lay-offs. Instead, fan experience, facility improvements— Ben Golliver (@blazersedge) August 13, 2013
And for all those Twitter haters out there, McGowan would remind you that transactions like these are going to do wonders for the organization.
Chris McGowan says Twitter critics of Moda Center name change will "adapt" after "they realize what these deals do for our organization."— Ben Golliver (@blazersedge) August 13, 2013
That all depends on what you qualify as "wonders," of course. An extra $4.2 million in scratch a year is almost enough to sign Mo Williams twice. So there's that.
Whatever it is the Blazers have planned, they and the city of Portland will face it together—in the arena formerly known as the Rose Garden.