10 Disasters in Stadium Naming Rights
Home of: The Houston Astros (MLB)
Cost of naming rights: $3.3 million a year
If you think a team won't just rip a broke company's name off its building, you obviously haven't had a glass of OJ in Minute Maid park.
When Ken Lay and his room full of smart guys drove energy giant Enron into the ground with an accounting scandal that bankrupted the company in 2001, the Astros were in no mood to keep the company's name on the building. Astros fans lost jobs and retirement savings as a result of Enron's fraudulent dealings, and the Astros were in no mood to see how the legal case against the company played out.
The Enron scandal hit in late 2001 and by February 2002, the Astros had bought back the naming rights for $2.1 million. The team ripped out all the Enron logos in time for opening day and Coca-Cola (KO) bought the naming rights that June. The rechristened Minute Maid Park hasn't referenced the "E" word since.
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