PNC Park, Heinz Field, Lincoln Financial Field, Citizens Bank Park, M&T Bank Stadium - selling the naming rights to sporting event venues is nothing new, even if its appearance in Altoona is.
It's understandable that after 13 years, hearing Peoples Natural Gas Field might seem jarring to residents who have become accustomed to using the name Blair County Ballpark for the facility where the Altoona Curve play. But, like fans in other locations, they will get used to the name.
The Curve and Peoples Natural Gas formally announced last week that the utility has purchased the naming rights for the ballpark in a long-term deal.
Neither side would disclose the amount Peoples is paying or the length of the deal. Often times, the financial arrangements in naming rights aren't disclosed.
Selling naming rights is a way for a franchise or stadium owner to get an infusion of money to support the operations.
While the land the ballpark sits on is owned by Blair County, under the Curve's lease, the team is responsible for all upkeep of the stadium, under a 2009 agreement signed by commissioners. That deal was designed to clear up confusion over which party was responsible for maintenance of the stadium.
In 2008, opinions differed on which party was responsible for replacing the playing surface, which had developed drainage problems. Ultimately, a state grant paid for the replacement.
Under the new deal, similar projects in the future clearly will be the responsibility of the franchise, which means the Curve receive the money from the naming rights and other sponsorships.
It was a fair deal when the agreement was signed, and it still is today.
And the money from the naming rights will help support the team that has been a source of local pride and success. That's something we want to see continue.
Getting used to the large, illuminated blue flame logo of Peoples Natural Gas above the VIP entrance, seeing the logo painted on the field behind home plate and calling the stadium Peoples Natural Gas Field will take some adjustment.
But by the time those summer days roll around, we suspect residents will probably not even give it a second thought.
That's a good thing because what really matters is what happens on the field and the fun experience of enjoying a minor league game in a beautiful facility - no matter what it's called.