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Qwest Field To Be Renamed After Company's Merger With CenturyLink

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EDITOR'S UPDATE: Just received this email from the Sounders about the potential name-change "We look forward to working with CenturyLink to maintain the best home field advantage for the Seahawks and Sounders FC." It stops short of confirming a name change but does seem to indicate that one is imminent. Still in the process of getting more information.

The Omaha World-Herald reports  that all Qwest properties will begin using the CenturyLink name after the merger between the two companies is complete, currently expected to be finalized by April 1st. Qwest currently holds corporate naming rights to multiple arenas, most notably the Qwest Center in Omaha and of course the home of the Sounders, Qwest Field in Seattle. No timetable is given for the re-branding of Qwest Field, but the Omaha arena is scheduled to be fully transitioned by the end of August. And while it's just a guess, it seems reasonable to expect that CenturyLink would hope for work to be done before the start of the NFL season.

As shocking as it might be to hear, I am not a business analyst so I can't comment on whether or not this is on the balance a bad thing. I am a Seattle sports fan however, and from a purely aesthetic perspective I am not at all a fan. By this point I would imagine that most people are aware of the fact that corporate sponsorship of stadia isn't going anywhere for the most part, and with that in mind Qwest Field is about as good as one could hope for. It's short, Qwest is an actual word (horrendous misspelling aside) and the company is at least established in the area if not physically based here. CenturyLink is long, awkward, makes use of the dreaded camel-case and is not in any way a company that people in the northwest identify with. And because Qwest is a corporate name, it seems silly to keep calling the stadium by the moniker as a form of protest.

In the end, it's not a big deal; very little will change, aside from the color scheme of the logos on the garbage cans. But as minor things go, it's fairly annoying.