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Corporate Logos Atop the Aquatics Center?

In an Arlington Sun Gazette article today, Scott McCaffrey reports on the efforts of Arlington County Board member John Vihstadt "to have the county government try to recruit sponsors and partners for the planned $60 million aquatics center and fitness facility."

Some Arlington pundits think a better name for this vanity sports facility, though, might be Aquasphere after the ill-fated county arts venue the Artisphere.

Here's McCaffrey's introduction:

"Say you’re flying into or out of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Look down and, atop the Long Bridge Park aquatics center proposed for just north of the airport, the gleaming logo of a corporate sponsor comes into view.

"Maybe it’s Nestlé, which is moving its corporate headquarters to Rosslyn. Boeing would be appropriate, both because of its aviation business and its major office compound in Crystal City. Or perhaps Chico’s Bail Bonds (little humor for fans of “Bad News Bears” on that one).

"Offering to sell, rent or lease space for a corporate logo might be a good way to make money off a captive audience – at least those sitting in window seats – one local elected official believes.

"Arlington County Board member John Vihstadt hasn’t given up on his desire to have the county government try to recruit sponsors and partners for the planned $60 million aquatics center and fitness facility.

“What about selling naming rights on the roof?” he mused at a recent meeting.

"Vihstadt brought the idea up last year, then revived it when County Manager Mark Schwartz brought back the aquatics-center proposal on April 25."

McCaffrey concludes, writing, "Vihstadt also is pushing for consideration of advertising on Arlington Transit (ART) buses, at transit stops and at Capital Bikeshare stations to help raise a little cash. “This needs to be seriously considered,” he said, noting that a progress report on the matter from county staff was due by June."

We're not opposed to either logos or naming rights for these vanity sports facilities at Long Bridge Park. However, we are concerned they will not draw the necessary attendance, but rather prove to be money losers for county taxpayers much like the Artisphere, the ill-fated arts venue in Rosslyn.

We growled about the Aquasphere both on April 25, 2017 based largely on a county press release and on reporting at ARLnow.com. We also growled about the Aquasphere the following day, April 26, 2017, based upon question McCaffrey included in his reporting for the Arlington Sun Gazette.

Do you have concerns or questions about the Aquatics Center or naming rights in particular, or Long Bridge Park in general? If so, Growls readers are encouraged to contact the Arlington County Board. Just click-on the following link:

  • Call the County Board office at (703) 228-3130.

And tell them ACTA sent you.

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