NM’s economy illustrated: UNM can’t sell naming rights for “The Pit”

KRQE channel 13 had a fascinating story about UNM’s inability to sell naming rights for “The Pit” and “University Stadium.” It only backs up something I’ve long believed was an indicator of the troubles plaguing New Mexico’s economy: while other sports arenas are named after local businesses, the only local sponsor of a major sports arena is a law firm (Branch Field at University Stadium).

Now, I’m not a huge fan of corporate naming rights for sporting arenas: “Qualcomm Stadium,” FedEx Field, and the like, but in the case of UNM’s money-losing athletic department, dollars generated through naming rights don’t have to be taken out of the pockets of students or the taxpayers.

In summary, this is yet another way in which New Mexico and its institutions are held back by our history of left-liberal economic policies. After all, while we would be in unimaginably bad shape without the Labs, they aren’t going to sponsor these sorts of things.

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4 Replies to “NM’s economy illustrated: UNM can’t sell naming rights for “The Pit””

  1. While I agree with the principle that corporate sponsorships of publicly financed stadiums and other professional sports teams are disingenuous, your biases regarding the liberal side is another reason why you institute fails to make the grade with us independents.
    Just as many on the right, as the left, support or are in the silent majority when it comes to corporate welfare, how “left-liberal economic policies” are to blame is unclear.
    When one factors in that most sponsorships of professional and semi-professional sports teams are represented by powerful economic and usually conservative bases that are so pro-business allowing unfair excesses in its business model, your blame directed at the left is wrong.

    1. Dominic,

      My point is simply that New Mexico’s poor economy and reliance on Washington (driven in large part by anti-free market economic policies) does not create a climate where businesses form and grow. That’s the simple point. Whether you support corporate stadium names or not, it says a lot that UNM’s football field is named after a law firm.

      How am I wrong in blaming the left?

      1. Paul,

        You’re wrong in saying only the left carry the anti-free market policies. I contend on both sides of the aisle, powerful economic interests will lobby Congress to protect its interests despite the damage the rest of us have to carry. My simple point is, it’s not exclusively a liberal fault.

        1. Fair enough. Neither political party or political philosophy is blameless. That’s especially true when you consider Congress. I’m referring to the state level. And, while “blue” states tend to be wealthier, they are growing far more slowly and are seeing less population growth than “red” states. New Mexico has the worst of both worlds. It is a slow-growing, impoverished “blue” state. I strongly believe and believe the data shows that New Mexico would benefit from a right to work law, pro-growth tax reform, deregulation (something many liberals support on certain issues), and school choice.

          It is certainly accurate to say that not all Republicans or conservatives support these policies, but by an large, these policies are more prevalent and politically-supported in “red” states.

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