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EnergySolution Critics Unhappy With Arena Name Change

EnergySolution Critics Unhappy With Arena Name Change



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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John Daley Reporting EnergySolutions is a waste reprocesssing company. For years environmentalists and others have fought against the company, who they say want to bring hazardous waste into Utah.

Now that the company's name will be on one of the most prominent buildings in town, many are not happy.

You'd be hard pressed to name a more controversial company in Utah. Critics of EnergySolutions say they're simply trying to "green up" a less than pure reputation.

For years it was called Envirocare, and made plenty of headlines, from a bribery scandal involving a state regulator overseeing the industry, to a push to store hotter kinds of nuclear waste.

Then the low-level waste storage company went for the industrial-sized corporate makeover, changing its name...

Advertisement: "At EnergySolutions, we're providing waste management solutions and new technologies to help the industry provide safer, cleaner nuclear power."

...and its image with a high-profile golf tournament, and now a relationship with the community's premier sports property.

Larry Miller/ Utah Jazz Owner: "I really think that this is something that does not need to be a controversial topic if people understand what this is about before they just panic and throw their hands in the air when the word nuclear is first used."

Steve Creamer/ CEO, EnergySolutions: "Our whole branding campaign is to teach people what it is and how important the nuclear energy business is. So every school kid will now have something they can do. And as we go out and try to educate people to our industry, we think it'll be a very positive thing."

But conservationists currently fighting the company's big expansion plans don't see it that way.

Vanessa Pierce/ Exec. Director, Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah: "We think it's a terrible idea. It's a slap in the face to the Utahns who don't want to see our state branded as the nation's nuclear waste dump."

Vanessa Pierce/ Exec. Director, Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah: "This stuff is dangerous."

The name change is drawing heat, and hundreds of comments late this afternoon on KSL.COM.

Ryan T. says, "That's the dumbest thing I've heard all day. Who wants to be associated with nuclear waste?"

JH wonders, "Where the Jazz got those new 'glow-in-the-dark' light blue uniforms?"

And Jason quips, "First 500 through the door get their very own Radiation Detector Badges."

I also was curious to see how much stadium naming rights are going for around the country.

A quick Google search landed me on the ESPN website, where we found CitiField, home of the New York Mets, just got a 20 million dollar a year deal from CitiGroup.

Reliant Energy pays 10 million a year for naming rights for the Houston Texans Stadium.

The Denver Broncos' Invesco Field at Mile High is worth 6 million annually. The Staples Center, home of the Lakers-- 5.8 million.

So, naming rights is big money and a big image-enhancing investment.

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