Bud Light Denied Name for Downtown Raleigh Amphitheater, City Seeking New Name

June, 17, 2010 , by Jedidiah

Bud Light Denied Name for Downtown Raleigh Amphitheater, City Seeking New Name
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Anheuser-Busch and local distributor Harris Wholesale have been denied the naming rights to the new downtown amphitheater. Today, the State Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission denied the request by the City of Raleigh to give the naming rights of the Downtown Raleigh Amphitheater to Bud Light. The proposal would have given the city of Raleigh $300,000 in compensation for the naming rights each year for five years. State law currently prohibits a public venue having a name/sponsor of an alcoholic beverage.

Now what will the City of Raleigh do to find cash for the operating costs of the new amphitheater? Oh, and can we call it New Raleigh Amphitheater now?

Grayson Currin over at the Indy Week has more on the decision.


UPDATE: The City of Raleigh has sent out this release looking for other naming rights.

CITY SEEKS OTHER NAMING RIGHTS OPPORTUNITIES FOR DOWNTOWN AMPHITHEATER

The Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Commission today denied a request for an exemption to allow the City of Raleigh to sell naming rights to the Downtown Amphitheater to Bud Lite. 

The City had requested an exemption from state alcoholic beverage advertising regulations to name the venue the Bud Lite Amphitheater. State regulations ban an alcoholic beverage from being part of the name of a public venue.

The City of Raleigh and local Anheuser Busch distributor Harris Wholesaler had drafted a proposal to name the venue the Bud Lite Amphitheater in exchange for $300,000 a year for five years. The City offered that this agreement would cover most of the operating costs of the $2.5 million, 5,000-seat facility that opened June 4.

“This is a very attractive venue that has great appeal to other potential sponsors,” Mayor Charles Meeker said. “The City is actively pursuing other name and title opportunities to defray the costs of operating this facility.”

 

 








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  • Growup Raleigh
    06/17 12:13 PM

    Ay ay ay… grow up Raleigh.

    That’s what we get for living in the bible belt. More taxes. Geez.

  • madison
    06/17 12:13 PM

    what was the justification behind the denial? i could care less what the venue is called. as long as the music is good and the city gets paid it could be the john edwards amphitheater and i wouldn’t complain.

  • CtrlBurn
    06/17 12:18 PM

    What are the operating costs of a venue like this?  I’ve always found it hard to believe that $25 tickets and $9 beers can’t generate enough cash to sustain a venue.

  • Cydney
    06/17 12:32 PM

    Why is the blame always placed with the ‘unsophisticated’ and the Bible thumpers? A slim majority supported it and that wasn’t enough to convince the board to grant an exemption to established law. Whether or not the regulation is puritanical, archaic or necessary because we’re each, as individuals, responsible for our own behavior is irrelevant. The onus was on the City of Raleigh to make their case and they failed.

  • PS
    06/17 12:36 PM

    I bet we could operate the new amphitheater on the money earned from people who will willingly pay $9 for 12oz of pee-water without having to go to the extraordinary lengths of actually naming the whole thing after said pee-water.

    Call me old-fashioned, but maybe they could name the amphitheater after a noteworthy Raleigh-ite or North Carolinian, rather than the first corporation to come up with a little cash?

  • OMC
    06/17 12:36 PM

    New Name Proposal #1: To Live a Lie Records Amphitheatre [complete with schmancy Euro-hip spelling!]

    New Name Proposal #2: Jesus H. Christ Memorial Mudpit and Tractor Haven

  • Hunts
    06/17 12:37 PM

    Rediculous.  Way to throw away $1.5 million to uphold a severly outdated, prohibition era, pseudo religious based, and generally stupid and misguided alcohol law.  Does anyone truly believe that with all the pervasive alcohol advertising out there in all of its formats, that underage kids that otherwise would have abstained from alcohol until their 21st birthday would REALLY start drinking beer as a result of a music venue being named after Bud Light???

    Hell, maybe Im just a snooty beer drinker in my adulthood, but drinking one of those watered down things they call “beer” would probably lead me to STOP drinking… but that’s a story for another day…

  • Phillo
    06/17 12:38 PM

    “The onus was on the City of Raleigh to make their case and they failed. ” 
     
    Blue laws are the fault of the unsophisticated and Bible thumpers.  Should the city really have to get in a fight about why naming an amphitheater after a beer won’t upset Jesus or instantly corrupt children?

  • Jesus
    06/17 12:45 PM

    This makes me happy.

  • INSTIGATOR
    06/17 12:47 PM

    All of you people are missing the underlying issue here, which is:  WHY THE HELL IS THE CITY BUILDING AN AMPHITHEATRE IN THE FIRST PLACE?  If there were sufficient demand for such a venue, a private FOR-PROFIT (oh no!) firm would have built this thing and named it however the hell they want.

    This ridiculous naming rights argument only arises because the government decided that it should own land and it should build amphitheatres.  Which “right” is this ?

    Having said that, I fully support “Jesus H. Christ Memorial Mudpit and Tractor Haven”

  • yeah right
    06/17 12:48 PM

    If blue laws were the fault of unsophisticated bible thumpers, then overturning them would be easy.

    Funny that the folks wanting to name a public amphitheater after Bud Light would complain that their opponents were “unsophisticated”...

  • Cydney
    06/17 12:58 PM

    The City was working against established law and lost. That’s the fault of the City leadership, not the 45% of respondents who were not in favor of the name.

    Besides, Jesus is f’ing metal.

  • Hunts
    06/17 12:59 PM

    I’m not saying that I like the name Bud Light.  In fact, I think it is a bit retarded sounding.  What I have the problem with is the state not ALLOWING them to GIVE them $1.5 million for naming rights (particularly given the current economic situation and state budget crisis) just because the name happens to contain the branding of a lightly alcoholic “adult” beverage.

  • C
    06/17 01:21 PM

    How about The Foxy Lady Ampitheater?  The name doesn’t reference alcohol, and we’d be keeping it local.

  • Johnny Mack
    06/17 01:23 PM

    Chick Fil A should pay to call it “The Blessed Pleasure Amphitheatre”, and never use it on Sundays.

  • Phillo
    06/17 01:34 PM

    “WHY THE HELL IS THE CITY BUILDING AN AMPHITHEATRE IN THE FIRST PLACE? ” 
     
    Because the city already owns the land and it was thought to be a better alternative to leaving the land sit idle until the convention center needs it for expansion. 
     
    Do try to keep up and check out your caps lock key.  I think it is broken. 
     
    “If blue laws were the fault of unsophisticated bible thumpers, then overturning them would be easy.” 
     
    You’d be surprised how much the vengeful hand of God drives some people’s voting habits.  The best bet is to wait for the good ole boys at the Legislative Bldg to die out. 
     
    And what Hunts said.

  • C
    06/17 01:40 PM

    “Chick-Fil-A’s House of Jeebus”

  • Ray P
    06/17 01:44 PM

    I’m glad it failed, not because of the name consisting of an alcoholic product, but because I’m against corporate sponsorship of municipal facilities period!

    Business has gotten too cozy with government by my estimation and wields way too much influence over same. This facility was built by the City of Raleigh for the people of Raleigh. It should be named something that’s a tribute to the area. Personally I like “The Walt”.

  • City-Zen
    06/17 01:46 PM

    Ok,this is good and bad… i really hate the idea of a venue named after some rich company and not a more Raleigh thing… like idk SIR WALTER RALEIGH himself, but we lost a ton of money on this deal.

  • WNF IV
    06/17 02:18 PM

    Name it “ITB Amphitheater” and keep the commoners out. I’ll pay for it.

  • INSTIGATOR
    06/17 02:23 PM

    “Because the city already owns the land and it was thought to be a better alternative to leaving the land sit idle until the convention center needs it for expansion.”
     
    Why does the city OWN THE LAND?  Why is the government buying land it can’t use?  Or for that matter, at all?  As I read through these posts, no one seems to have an issue with paying taxes to a government that is focused on ..... buying land and building concert venues?  Then, ironically, hoping the free market will swoop in and bail them out when they can’t afford it. 

    Get with it people….you are arguing about the surface stuff….no one here has touched on the the real underlying issue

    I think utter stupidity trumps even “the vengeful hand of God” in the voting booth.

    Do try to keep up and check out your logic.  I think it is broken.

  • Hunts
    06/17 02:53 PM

    OK instigator, Ill “try and keep up”.  The city owns the land because it was purchased as part of the original block of land intended for the city convention center.  After studying lots of different plans for the layout of the convention center, they found that they didn’t initially need to use all of that space for the initial construction.  So, the government WASN’T focused on buying land it can’t use, or for concert venues for that matter, but rather for a state of the art downtown convention center designed to bring more business, commerce, people, and REVENUE to the downtown area.

    Therefore, since the government didn’t make the land purchase with intent to build a concert venue, your arguement that they were “hoping the free market would bail them out when they can’t afford it” makes no sense.

    They voted to build a convention center, successfully raised the money to buy the land for it and construct it, did so, found they didnt need it all (the land or the initial capital raised), then decided to use it for this purpose. Now they found someone willing to foot the bill for the building of the concert venue, and the state said no because it mentions the words “bud light”.

    everyone up to speed now?

  • Ken Metzger
    06/17 03:00 PM

    The free market bailing out the government?  Yeah, been seeing a lot of that lately.

  • emc
    06/17 03:04 PM

    We have a huge building already downtown with “RBC” right on the side. The amphitheater sits next to a sparkly wall sponsored by Cree. Why haven’t these companies spoken up yet? Maybe they will today. I say, local interests first, then everyone else. BTW, I know Harris Wholesale is local, but a (stupid)law is a law. Don’t like it, VOTE!!!

  • Ray P
    06/17 03:09 PM

    Sorry Instigator but I believe it is your logic that’s broken. There’s nothing wrong with a municipality investing in itself so long as the investment yields returns. The “Walt” is much nicer than the vacant lot it replaced and this facility appears to be able to pay for itself even without the Bud Lite sponsorship. We now have a place where folks can meet and enjoy themselves. The spill-over from the concert events also helps local business. I see this as a win-win-win. One final point ... the city didn’t buy this parcel to “build a concert venue” they bought it because an ADJACENT parcel was needed for future convention center expansion. This is called PLANNING for the future. This parcel is now being used in a very smart way thanks to the “Walt”.

  • corey3rd
    06/17 03:56 PM

    Meeker should have had this naming business solved before breaking ground instead of rushing into it thinking somehow his charisma would overwhelm the ABC Board. This is his problem. He and those that approved this project should be responsible for any budget shortfalls - coming right out of their wallets and not through jacking up our taxes.

    It’s illegal for a stripper in NC to wear a Bud Light bikini. Why exactly did he think the ABC Board would bend the rules for his parking lot dream?

  • WILLNCSU
    06/17 04:22 PM

    I like Bud Light a lot more than Time Warner Cable or Hardee’s.  FYI, Kane is going to build something similar at North Hills with private money.

  • INSTIGATOR
    06/17 04:44 PM

    Why does the city own any land at all?  Did I miss that part in the constitution, where it’s the government’s province to buy land, build things (yes, clearly, all buildings owned by the government downtown bring in revenue and attract more business) and then charge me for it, or seek help from private enterprise to offset the cost?

    If there were sufficient demand for a concert venue downtown, a private firm would have built the damn thing.  If the city has land it no longer needs, SELL THE LAND and give me back the tax money you stole ERRRR “took from me for the common good” to buy it.

    Is that so hard, people?  Seems that our government-funded schools have populated this message board…..

  • Blzebub
    06/17 05:52 PM

    Locopops amphitheater.

  • Ashe
    06/17 06:00 PM

    I’m frankly very glad that the amphitheater isn’t going to be named after Bud Light, but not because I’m some “Bible Thumper”. I’m not at all religious and I’m actually extremely Liberal. I just can’t stand corporations buying the “naming rights” to public facilities. When companies buy naming rights it forces me, and everyone else, to become a de facto advertiser for the company whenever I refer to the facility by its “name”. I despise calling the arena the RBC Center, since it SHOULD have been named after Jim Valvano (since NCSU is partial owner of the facility) instead of naming it after a freaking BANK!

  • Kid-Like Adult
    06/17 06:02 PM

    “As I read through these posts, no one seems to have an issue with paying taxes to a government that is focused on ..... buying land and building concert venues?” 

    Of all the things I have issues paying taxes for, building a great place that I can be happy and listen to great music sure isn’t one of them!
    Besides, maybe they are using the alcohol taxes to pay for it ;)

  • Charlie
    06/17 07:12 PM

    What PS said. There’s no reason they can’t make up that $300,000 a year through beer and ticket sales. The city’s just following what everyone else does, naming an amphitheater after a large corporation, rather than thinking smartly. And I’m curious as to all this “great music” people are talking about. When I think of great music, Backstreet Boys and Slightly Stoopid usually aren’t the first things that come to mind.

  • currincy
    06/17 08:09 PM

    “There’s no reason they can’t make up that $300,000 a year through beer and ticket sales.”
    Just to jump in real fast, if you look at the budget for this amphitheater, that doesn’t really seem to be a viable option, not with the way these numbers were projected and designed.

  • john b
    06/17 08:17 PM

    My 2 cents. The city has no interest in making money-only erecting monuments.  Remember, we pay for all upkeep and vending at 3county stadium in exchange for a tiny monthly rent, and I was happier with the FREE concerts with the same artists in Moore Square, and I betcha all those businesses around city market are also unhappy.
    Leta name the amphitheater “Should’ve Had Term Limits.”  hi meeker.
    separate question. Who pays for all the police at events? the city? the sponsor? the promoter?

  • Lisa Jeffries
    06/18 01:27 AM

    I like “New Raleigh Amphitheater”, personally!

  • Free
    06/18 08:59 AM

    Bud Light, Please forgive our City Council (and DRA) who botched both the naming rights AND in turn Raleigh’s free summer concerts… 

    Can you please come back and host the free concerts in Moore Square again?  Or how about Alive After 5?  We’ll take any and all sponsorships at existing city spaces that continue to be under utilized… Wake County residents and our downtown businesses around Moore Square/Fayetteville Street would greatly appreciate it!

  • arthurb3
    06/18 10:56 AM

    I don’t really like the idea of alcohol or any other vice having its name on a city building but if that’s the best way to fund and build these projects then I am all for it. It does get kinda boring to for just about everything having a product name on it;ie: RBC Center, Progress Energy Center for the Arts, Time Warner Pavilion at Walnut Creek, ect, ect, ect.

  • ncmyk
    06/18 12:24 PM

    I despise calling the arena the RBC Center, since it SHOULD have been named after Jim Valvano (since NCSU is partial owner of the facility) instead of naming it after a freaking BANK! Ashe

    actually, the owner of rbc is the centennial authority who is paying for the $158M construction with $80M from rbc, $60M from the hurricans, and only $18M from the state of north carolina.

    maybe enough time has passed, but people also seem to forget that ncsu dropped valvano like last weeks trash and now shamelessly promotes his legacy.  at least they didn’t drop yow before she died.

  • Ron Burgundy, Anchorman
    06/18 01:09 PM

    They’re gonna call it The Pink Taco. Bet on it.

  • Little Timmy
    06/18 01:59 PM

    Maybe we need to get Randy Parton down here to manage this thing.

  • WS
    06/19 02:13 PM

    Who are you people that think the music at moore square was even remotely good? The downtown live lineup was an embarrassment to Raleigh every single year. This new amphitheatre is just scratching the surface with the bands being booked right now and shouldnt even be mentioned in the same sentence as the laughable dwntwn live concert series.

    P.S. Not naming it after Bud Light is a step in the right direction!

  • thought_criminal
    06/19 11:16 PM

    City-Zen writes above: “Ok,this is good and bad… i really hate the idea of a venue named after some rich company and not a more Raleigh thing… like idk SIR WALTER RALEIGH himself, but we lost a ton of money on this deal.”

    Oh man, I love me a silly, ‘unsophisticated’ lefty. First sentence: I HATE PEOPLE WITH TONS OF MONEY. Second sentence: I HATE THAT WE DON’T HAVE TONS OF MONEY. Now that’s rich.

  • Powell
    06/20 07:53 AM

    why are people are so friggin’ uptight? I really dont care.  I guarantee you- the folks that are having the biggest shiz with this whole name thing aren’t ever going to see a single show there.  Its a name people…. a name that comes with a million bucks tied to it. If you want to name it something else- put the money up- or STFU. period.

  • Powell
    06/20 07:55 AM

    and by the way- I need to read the entire post before I add a reply…lol   they need to get of that prohibition era law.

  • Phil
    06/21 12:32 PM

    Goodbye cheesy name, we hardly knew you.

  • chippa
    06/22 06:23 PM

    The Latest Meeker Mistake Music Hall.

  • arthurb3
    06/24 12:40 PM

    Old news. Moving on…

  • GJ
    06/24 10:10 PM

    The main push was not to have Bud Light, the essence of low class, be the sponsor of The Downtown Raleigh Amphitheater and also to have beer diversity. There is already one Charlotte.

  • Rockerboy
    06/30 07:10 AM

    C’mon, Bojangles.  Loosen up the purse strings.

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