NEWS RELEASE
For More Information Contact: Eva Seidelman (202) 588-7751
For Immediate Release: November 4th, 2004

San Francisco Approves Referendum Against Sale of Naming Rights for Candlestick Park

On Election Day, in a victory for the growing resistance to corporate names for civic and cultural institutions, San Francisco voters decided not to sell the name of Candlestick Park to the highest corporate bidder.  The stadium is taxpayer-owned and home to the NFL San Francisco ‘49ers.

Proposition H was approved by San Francisco voters by a 55%-45% margin.  The proposition states: “ Be it ordained by the People of the City and County of San Francisco….[that] [t]he City-owned sports stadium located at Candlestick Point, at Jamestown Street and Harney Way, is hereby named and shall be referred to as ‘Candlestick Park.’ This ordinance shall not apply to any privately-owned facility that may in the future be constructed at that location.”

“The voters have spoken in favor of tradition and history, and against the commercial takeover of our civic and cultural institutions,” said Matt Gonzalez, president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

On September 28th, the San Francisco ‘49ers announced the sale of naming rights of Candlestick to Monster Cable Products – even though they knew that Proposition H would be on the ballot. “It’s time for Mayor Newsom and Monster Cable to heed the will of the voters, and put the name Candlestick back on Candlestick Park,” Gonzalez said.

“Monster Cable Products signed the naming rights deal just a month before the election in a brazen effort to undermine the democratic process,” said Dave Grenell, campaign manager for Proposition H. “But the will of the voters is clear: they want Candlestick Park not Monster Park.”

“We want to thank the citizens of San Francisco for taking a stand against crass commercialism,” said Gary Ruskin, executive director of Commercial Alert. “We hope that other cities will follow San Francisco’s lead, and demand that civic and cultural institutions be named after heroes and history, not corporations with fat wallets.”

Huge majorities of Americans want government to restrict the creep of advertising into nearly every part of our lives and culture.  According to a Yankelovich Partners poll in April, 60% of Americans have amuch more negative opinion of marketing and advertising now than a few years ago, 61% of Americansfeel the amount of marketing and advertising is out of control, 65% feelconstantly bombarded with too much advertising and marketing, and 65%think there should be more limits and regulations on marketing and advertising.  (To read the poll, go to http://www.commercialalert.org/Yankelovich.pdf.)

Commercial Alert is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to keep the commercial culture within its proper sphere, and to prevent it from exploiting children and subverting the higher values of family, community, environmental integrity and democracy. For more information, see our website at: http://www.commercialalert.org.

Election results for Proposition H are available at:http://www.sfgov.org/site/uploadedfiles/election/results.htm.

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