With a possible name change coming to the WVU Coliseum in the coming years, students across campus have mixed emotions.
The Coliseum has been known by that name since it opened in 1970, but, according to a report from Mike Casazza of 247Sports, the athletic department is open to selling the facility’s naming rights.
According to the contract between WVU and Learfield IMG College, the marketing and multimedia rights partner to the athletic department, Learfield IMG College has permission to seek a buyer for the Coliseum’s naming rights.
A naming rights deal would provide the athletic department with additional revenue for facilities upgrades and increased staff positions, but many students are wary of the cultural effect it would have on the University.
“I wouldn’t like it just because I like the pride of being from West Virginia. I’m from southern West Virginia, and I like that the state is centered around West Virginia and [WVU],” said Madison Walker, a sophomore psychology student. “I just feel like it would take away from the impact of being about West Virginia.”
With certain students worried about the effect on the state of West Virginia, some are more worried about a national brand having its name prominently displayed on top of the building.
“God no, I wouldn’t want it to be like that,” said Sean King, a junior global supply chain management student, on a national brand purchasing the naming rights. “Hell, I’d be a little upset if Mylan named it. Yeah, they employ a lot of people here, but that’s not part of the culture.
“They’re not part of the Morgantown culture; they’re not what makes Morgantown Morgantown.”
King said if the naming rights are sold, he wished it would honor the past of Morgantown, even including the loss of historic Sunnyside.
“There’s a whole lot of unique history in this town and I hope they keep it here rather than selling the naming rights to somebody else,” he said.
As other students worry about a possible deal, many recognize the financial gain the athletic department would see and are in favor of it as a result, but they are still unsure if a new name would actually even stick.
“It doesn’t matter to me really that much, I’ll just call it the Coliseum probably,” said Tyler Sikarskie, a freshman management information systems student. “That’s what I’ve grown accustomed to.”