The Rose Garden Arena has been officially re-named, the “Moda Center,” thanks to a 10 year agreement between the Portland Trail Blazers and Moda Health. Moda Health, a small, Portland-based company with 1,400 employees (less thant 3/4 of my high school graduating class) will pay $4 million per year, for a predicted total cost of $40 million during the name’s tenure.
Until today, the Moda Center has only ever been known as the Rose Garden. The arena opened in 1995 and has been the home of the Portland Trail Blazers for the past 18 years. Needless to say, many fans aren’t happy. Reactions have ranged from downright livid, to apathetic, to cautiously optimistic. Here is what fans are saying about the change.
@ripcityproject heart breaking. It will always been the Rose Garden and i won’t call it anything else. Not Mode not Bode not Toad.
— Evan Weber (@TheRedscare_13_) August 13, 2013
@ripcityproject I felt like “The Rose Garden” felt more ‘Portland’. It was a homage to the city and now its just advertising space.
— Teran Bergeron (@Teransworth) August 13, 2013
@ripcityproject stupid McGowan is a corporate sellout and he sucks at his job
— Mike Ellison (@MikeEllison1) August 13, 2013
@ripcityproject Everyone is going to keep calling it the Rose Garden. So let them earn $4 million to change a few signs around. ‘S all good.
— Blazers 6th Man (@blazers6thman) August 13, 2013
@ripcityproject – It’ll take time for people to get used to it, but like anything, the storm will calm. Just people adjusting to change.
— BlazerSteph (@SWeagant) August 13, 2013
I tend to agree most with @Blazers6thman. For me, it will always be the Rose Garden, and there is no reason for that to change in my heart. While the name alteration feels superficial, it benefits the team and, in the end, that’s what I want. I suspect it shall colloquially remain the Rose Garden for many years to come, and as for a naming-rights sponsor, the Blazers could do a lot worse than Moda Health. Early word is that they’ll even incorporate a rose into the new logo to respect the heritage.