Sure, it's great that the Jaguars' five-year naming rights deal with EverBank ends in three years without a corporate sponsor for their stadium. But the real victory is that they decided on "EverBank Field" instead of "EverBank Stadium."
It's true, of course, that the deal is a timely pick-me-up for the city of Jacksonville's NFL future.
Between hosting the Jaguars in faceless Jacksonville Municipal Stadium and filling less than three-quarters of its capacity on an average Sunday, whispers of the team's potential escape to Los Angeles have justifiably crept up.
Jacksonville owner Wayne Weaver will be glad, too, as revenue from the deal shoos the nightmare of red ink away from his team's books.
Since Alltel opted not to extend their 10-year partnership with the Jaguars in 2007, Jacksonville missed out on three years' worth of revenue from the facility.
And EverBank's five-year investment, long-term intentions, and parallel history to the team lend an air of marked optimism to the deal.
Formed in earnest in 1994, EverBank's rise to its present status as an $11.5-billion national player mirrors the Jaguars' growth from a 1995 expansion franchise and their recent rebuilding.
Two upward-trending organizations converging in one feel-good business decision. National exposure for an ambitious sponsor and financial stability for a much-maligned club. In spite of a shaky economy, it's solid, old-fashioned "business as usual."
Still, the best part is that it involved a name change to anything but the cookie-cutter "Sponsor's Name Stadium" option.
Aesthetically, the reasoning is mostly subconscious. Think of the most iconic venues in football: Lambeau Field, Arrowhead, Mile High, the Meadowlands, and Soldier Field, to give a decent sampling.
Now, look at how they've been immortalized. For Green Bay and Chicago's legendary home fields, "Field" is an important part of the identity; for Arrowhead, Mile High, and the Meadowlands, "Stadium" gets chopped off. It's superfluous, and in less-famous arenas it serves only to underscore the lack of gravitas and history.
Granted, EverBank Field is hardly the NFL's first to recognize this little effect. From Seattle's Qwest Field (2002) to Lincoln Financial Field (2003) in Philadelphia, a few 21st-century stadiums have been admirably self-conscious with their names—unlike, for instance, Bank of America Stadium (2004) and Lucas Oil Stadium (2008).
Odds are neither Jacksonville's fans nor the front office are worrying over whether their team's home has a historic-sound name.
Aside from wondering how the EverBank logo will change the look and feel of the place, they're probably just happy to see a sign that the Jaguars can do well by sticking around.
Of course, tarps still cover just as many seats in EverBank Field as they have in Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.
(This article is also featured on StadiumJourney.com , your go-to source for stadium-related news and reviews: NFL, MLB and MiLB, NBA, NHL, NCAA, and MLS.)