Should high school stadium naming rights be for sale?

By Samantha Ptashkin - Reporter

NEW CANEY, Texas - Naming rights are nothing new in sports. Houston has the Toyota Center, NRG Stadium and Minute Maid Park. But now the trend is trickling down to the high school level, where fields are traditionally named after legendary coaches or mascots.

New Caney ISD will hold a grand opening for its new stadium, Texan Drive Stadium this Friday night when New Caney High School takes on Porter High School. The district entered into a naming rights agreement with Texan Drive, which represents local car dealerships. Under the five year agreement, the district will rake in $300,000. Sports website Texas Live will also stream games for New Caney and Porter.

"In times of tight revenues and tight money I think school districts have to look for alternative sources of revenue, other than just tax funded dollars," said New Caney ISD Superintendent Ken Franklin.

Other Houston area districts like Humble ISD and Conroe ISD have entered similar agreements. Humble has ParkwayFamily.com Field and Conroe has Woodforest Bank Stadium.

But some people aren't sure about naming a high school stadium after a business.

"Now instead of it being an Eagles stadium or a Spartan stadium, it kind of does change tradition," said one New Caney resident.

Nationwide other critics have worried about students being exposed to too much advertising. But for now Caney ISD officials don't seem to be worried.

"Students are bombarded with advertisements throughout society and what we're doing by naming a stadium is not going to persuade students more than any other forms of advertising," Franklin said.

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