The city of Tampa is considering selling naming rights to the Tampa Convention Center to increase revenue. This Tribune story discusses the consideration, as well as the naming of spaces in other civic buildings (like the New TMA) or entire buildings (like the Glaser Children's Museum.) In a city already feeling budgetary constraints from tax reductions, and with a smaller base of support for cultural and arts programs than many other metropolitan areas, is this a creative way to boost funds? Is this a crass commercialization of our urban fabric? Or are we so far mired in 'Raymond James' & 'Tropicana' Stadiums and 'Tostito' Bowls, that it no longer matters if we sell off our remaining buildings as billboards?

1 comment:

Christopher Vela said...

First, I think it conflicts with a lot of past ruling issues of signage in Tampa. Think about the Charlie Crist banner in downtown or even the meteorological weatherman banner on the aging Channel 13 tower? From an ethics stand point, it makes me want to put a 50' foot ‘free whiskey shot with coffee’ pink neon sign on Cafe Hey and say I’m doing it for the money (which I am clearly not), heck I might even call it art.

Secondly, though it might be a good economic idea is still isn't going to solve the problem of spending or not spending wisely. In the past there has been lot of money blown on worthless ventures, or money not used to maintain to keep problems at low cost. I rather the money go towards an objective idiot proof steering committee to make better use of any money generated.

Sure it may just ‘cheapen everything’ but that isn’t the point. It is just desperation, only a small part to suppress bad planning. I think this idea moves Tampa further away from becoming a southeast city of inspirational leadership and action.