May 19th, 2011

Communities look to sell naming rights to public buildings

Tight government budgets are pushing officials to look for more revenue anyway they can. Local communities are selling naming rights to government buildings to private companies to solve their budget deficit problems.

The City of Sheboygan has a two million dollar budget shortfall that gives the idea of selling naming right new life. It’s nothing new in Sheboygan. The Accuity Insurance Company in Sheboygan already paid $650,000 to name the high school field house. Another $525,000 to name a school field house in Fond du Lac.

Sheboygan Mayor Bob Ryan says, “We have our marina. We have plans drawn up a few years ago for a pedestrian bridge across our river. Would I name that the Sargento bridge? I believe our common council would have no problem with that.”

Critics are quick to point out there could be a conflict if a corporation buys a name, then want favorable government consideration on a project. However, proponents say that could be avoided.

While Sheboygan doesn’t have any companies in line to name their city hall, other communities have done it across the country.

School districts are also looking into this option to help their budgetary problems.

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