10 Initials Worse Than NRG for Renaming Reliant Stadium
It has been widely reported that NRG Energy, the company that bought the retail division of Reliant Energy in 2009, would be re-branding Reliant Stadium and the surrounding complex as part of efforts to make its name change more visible. Reliant agreed to pay $300 million over 30 years in naming rights for the stadium when it opened, still one of the most lucrative deals of its kind ever.
It could be worse.
And while Reliant has certainly gotten its money's worth given that the entire area around the stadium is often referred to by its name, I don't have a big problem going to NRG Stadium. In fact, it actually has a better sound for a sports venue than Reliant, particularly since the Texans have been one of the least reliable teams over the last decade in the NFL. It is only marginally odd when you consider the company's actual name is NRG Energy. Hopefully, they'll drop the second "Energy" so every time someone says the name, it doesn't sound like they stuttered.
But, frankly, they are lucky Reliant was bought by a company with decent initials. It could have been much worse.
I guess you could argue it would be menacing or something, but more likely it would just be annoying. Although, no doubt accountants and tax law firms would be lining up to hold conferences and conventions at IRS Park.
Hockey is great, but you would be hard pressed to more poorly manage a professional sports league. Sure, it's tough to get people in the south who have only seen frozen ponds in movies interested in hockey, but it doesn't help that the league has been so badly mismanaged, it has dropped from the clear number four big sport in America into a near tie with MLS. The Texans have had their own management issues. Pass.
With new head coach Bill O'Brien, a former assistant to the hyper secretive Bill Belichick, running things, it would be surprising if there was ever too much information being disseminated by the Texans at any point in the near future making this a bad fit.
We've heard reports that cell service around Reliant Stadium is God awful and wi-fi is no better. With the NFL implementing new standards for cell service and wi-fi in all team stadiums by the end of 2014, it would make sense to avoid a name so closely associated with lame internet access, though I won't deny I find the idea of using the sound of a modem connecting after every touchdown absolutely nerdtastic.
Setting aside the conspiracy theories proffered by tinfoil-wearing crazies, the last thing we need is a stadium with a name that underscores what the Texans have been too often in their history: a disaster.