May 4th, 2008

What's Ballpark Figure for Name on Police Building?

By Rick Orlov
Los Angeles Daily News

It’s the punch line to an old joke: We know what you are, now we’re just negotiating the price.

And showing there may be a price for anything, there have been rumors lately that Los Angeles officials are looking at trying to sell naming rights to the new police administration building to shore up the city’s sagging finances.

If AEG could get $100 million for the 20-year naming rights for Staples Center, just imagine how much could be generated by having a name in lights atop the 11-story glass tower across from City Hall.

Maybe Smith and Wesson or Colt would want their company name on the building. Or Lojack or ADT.

“It would be a horrible idea to sell off the naming rights,” said Councilman Tom LaBonge, considered the unofficial historian of the council. “Public buildings should not be for sale.”

But Los Angeles is facing a more than $400 million budget shortfall this year and it appears there will be no end in sight to the city’s financial problems unless it scales back some of its ambitions. There also has been speculation that naming rights could be sold to the Los Angeles Zoo and Greek Theatre, although there have been no specific proposals.

If the police building’s name is not sold off, there is no consensus on what it should be named.

Some traditionalists believe the term “Parker Center” should be carried over, in honor of former Chief William Parker, who is credited with cleaning up the LAPD and modernizing it.

But others believe Parker’s time is long gone and the center should be known strictly by the utilitarian name “Police Administration Building.”

“Maybe we should just name some meeting rooms there after chiefs,” Councilman Dennis Zine said. “I’m not sure we should name it after anyone.”

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