Re: “Some fear selling naming rights could get absurd” (TNT, 1-24).
Selling naming rights to bridges, roads, parks and the like, although reducing the charges to the actual users, does not provide the public with a free lunch. The corporations that purchase these rights pass on these advertising costs to the ultimate purchasers of their products and services. Make no mistake about this the costs are still paid by the general public just not as taxes or tolls.
Selling the rights simply spreads out the costs among all users of the corporation’s products or services rather than assessing them to those voters who actually use the public bridge or roadway. It’s politically expedient and does reduce the costs to the actual users so it probably will happen.
I’m not so sure, however, that it is fair that someone in Clarkston or even New Jersey who may never see or use the Narrows Bridge should foot part of the expenses of maintaining it every time they take their family to Chuck E. Cheese.
If it’s going to happen, maybe we should make sure the naming is also of historical significance. How about honoring that icon of Americana that may be lost forever and naming it “The Twinkie Bridge at the Narrows”?