SEPTA for sale

IMG_4960.JPGToday it was announced that SEPTA’s Market East station would be renamed Jefferson Station in a sponsorship deal with SEPTA and the city of Philadelphia. I didn’t have a problem with this until I read the following line:

In a similar deal in 2010, SEPTA sold the naming rights for Pattison Station on the Broad Street Subway, rechristening it AT&T Station. That five-year deal cost AT&T $5.4 million, of which SEPTA received $3.4 and its advertising agent, New York-based Titan Worldwide, got $2 million.

A 5 year deal? Are you telling me that in 5 years when AT&T is gobbled by the Walmart/Google/Comcast conglomerate that’s sure to happen, we’ll be in for another name change?

In the 20 years that the Susquehanna Bank Center has been in Camden, it has had 2 previous names (I still refer to it as the Tweeter Center by periodically). The Wells Fargo Center is even worse with 4 total names in 18 years (I still miss calling it the FU Center – one of the more unfortunate names in sports history). This seems like a bad idea for transportation centers, where the idea is to be easily found. How easy will it be when the names change every few years? I mean, can Xfinity City Hall be too far behind?

I’m all for SEPTA coming up with creative solutions for funding, especially when you have state leaders that don’t care about public transit. That said, I hope they have the good sense to remember that these names actually do have a purpose, and don’t change them every time they get a high bidder.