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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 30, 2002
4:17 PM
CONTACT:  Commercial Alert
Gary Ruskin (503) 235-8012 or Tom Adkins (503) 238-7775
San Francisco Moves to Ban Sale of Naming Rights
First Major City to Counter Naming Rights Trend
 
SAN FRANCISCO - July 30 - A resolution to prohibit the sale of naming rights to San Francisco public property, spaces and buildings, including Candlestick Park, was introduced yesterday with the support of five out of eleven Members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

San Francisco is the first major American city to propose a ban on the sale of naming rights to public property. The resolution is one vote shy of winning a majority on the Board of Supervisors. The lead sponsor of the resolution is Supervisor Matt Gonzalez. Co-sponsors include Supervisors Tony Hall, Chris Daly, Gerardo Sandoval and Jake McGoldrick.

"It is not the proper role of San Francisco, or any other city, to act as an agent of public relations firms, prop up tarnished corporate identities, or otherwise become an advertising venue for corporations," said Supervisor Matt Gonzalez. "I believe some things should not be for sale."

"Selling corporate naming rights to our public space appeals to our crass materialistic instincts rather than our highest ideals embodied in sportsmanship," said Supervisor Jake McGoldrick. "It reduces sports to the mere level of constant pursuit of profit."

During the last two years, naming rights deals have been proposed or executed in many areas around the country including New York City, Boston, San Diego, Milwaukee, Northern Virginia, and Washington, DC.

Candlestick Park is the home of the San Francisco 49ers. San Francisco sold the naming rights to Candlestick from 1996-2001, resulting in the name "3Com Park." The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department has proposed to sell the naming rights for Candlestick through May, 2008.

"I think it cheapens people's perception of the City and I'm against the sale of naming rights of public buildings unless absolutely necessary," said Supervisor Tony Hall.

"There's a growing backlash against the sale of naming rights," said Gary Ruskin, executive director of Commercial Alert, an anti-commercialism group. "This is a terrific resolution for San Francisco taxpayers and sports fans. The Board of Supervisors should swiftly approve it."

The text of the San Francisco anti-naming rights resolution is available at http://www.commercialalert.org/PDFs/sfnamingrights.pdf

For more information about the sale of naming rights, see Commercial Alert's "City for Sale" web page at http://www.commercialalert.org/index.php?category_id=3&subcategory_id=41&article_id=129

Commercial Alert's mission is to keep the commercial culture within its proper sphere, and to prevent it from exploiting children or subverting the higher values of family, community, environmental integrity and democracy. Commercial Alert's website is at http://www.commercialalert.org

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