Media outlets (mostly) reject Mall of America Field moniker

Since Jay Weiner’s piece on a new Vikings stadium is getting a bajillion comments today, I thought I’d add a small pop culture note.

Three weeks ago, the Vikes announced that the Metrodome’s playing surface would be re-branded “Mall of America Field.” Technically, it’s “Mall of America Field at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.” More cash for the team, more aural diaper rash for the rest of us — so it goes in corporate sports.

But corporate media, at least on the home front, isn’t giving MOAF its due. The Strib studiously refuses to use the moniker, except sarcastically or on its Vikings cheerleader blog.

The Associated Press has no rule against MOAF, says Minnesota news editor Doug Glass, but “If context required mentioning the venue, our sports writers would certainly be more likely to use Metrodome given the building’s long-established identity for sports fans both here and nationally.”

The St. Paul Pioneer Press seemed to be the most MOAF friendly — for example, in this photo caption. But sports editor Mike Bass says it’s not really kosher.

“That’s not the way the cutline read in the paper,” Bass notes. “The person who wrote that wasn’t technically wrong, it’s just not our style. As with all style questions or clarifications, we try to follow up to make sure everyone is on the same page.”

KARE recently used “Mall of America Field” as a second reference to the Metrodome; KSTP. com has done it once, as has Fox9 in similar items that looked written off the same press release. WCCO seems to be going the Strib’s no-MOAF way.

As AP’s Glass notes, “Mall of America Field at the Metrodome” is a mouthful. I’d add that only bought-off broadcast rights holders would willingly navigate it. And that’s probably enough for the Mall, along with the Vikes’ constant promotion.

Still, if the team opens a brand-new “Mall of America Field” in 2012, you can believe media references will become as ubiquitous as ones to Target Field.

Comments (12)

  1. Submitted by Dean Carlson on 10/19/2009 - 01:57 pm.

    Vikings Cheerleaders have a blog at the Stib?

    All can say is that there better be action photos involved.

  2. Submitted by ken roberts on 10/19/2009 - 02:03 pm.

    I am wondering how ofter the homers on KFAN use the full name during their radio broadcasts?

  3. Submitted by Robert Moffitt on 10/19/2009 - 02:15 pm.

    While I did use the MOA name (reluctantly) for an article I wrote for Molly Priesmeyer’s Live Green Twin Cities website, I found it was just too long for a later news release on our Vikings E85 promotion.

  4. Submitted by Jonathan Langer on 10/19/2009 - 02:33 pm.

    I heard the MOAF name used at least twice yesterday during the game on CBS, although the announcers stuttered and had to correct themselves after simply saying “Metrodome”.

  5. Submitted by Jeff Stout on 10/19/2009 - 04:23 pm.

    KFAN used MOAF at least 5 times in the 1.5 hrs I was listening in on radio. They’ve also started calling the Vikings offensive line “Wall of America” – not sure if it was tongue in cheek, but quite a direction change from “Purple People Eaters”.

  6. Submitted by Annalise Cudahy on 10/19/2009 - 04:45 pm.

    I like calling it MOAF. It’s a cool word, if you pronounce it out. Moaf, moaf, moaf.

    Like “mo’ loaf” or something. I can almost imagine Brett Favre saying it at dinner.

  7. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 10/19/2009 - 04:48 pm.

    I wonder how widely the corporate names are used by fans. Does anyone, besides media, really call the new Gopher Stadium, TCF Bank Stadium?

  8. Submitted by Tom Gitaa on 10/19/2009 - 05:25 pm.

    I had to listen to the game on 100.3 FM and heard Mall of America field mentioned numerous times, granted its Vikings Radio and not sure how many listen in on radio but that combined with a few mentions on TV during the live broadcast is enough payback for MOA.A live audience packs more punch than local media I think.

  9. Submitted by Howard Miller on 10/19/2009 - 05:51 pm.

    Truth is, the team owners get money from ticket and tv revenues. Must a business owner – who gets me to watch their sport or event – must that business owner ALWAYS think of me as an audience to be sold to yet one more advertiser?

    Having announcers tripping over a long name for the ground the sport is played on … that is annoying and takes away from the experience

    I love watching soccer on tv … partly because they don’t go to commercial while the game is on …. except for the logos on uniforms, and the scrolling ad signs lining all edges of the playing surface …..

    If Favre doesn’t last the season for the Vikings, it won’t be from injury … it will be that he grew too old to play, waiting for the NFL to come back from extended commercial break at the 2 minute warning

  10. Submitted by Tony Spadafora on 10/20/2009 - 10:56 am.

    All I know about the MOAF naming-rights deal it that it’s a 3 year deal.

    Since the Vikings would play 2 seasons in the Gophers stadium while their new stadium is being built on the Metrodome site… is there an “escape clause” in the naming-right contract if or when the deal become worthless for the MOA?

    How much is the naming-rights deal worth to the Vikings? What’s it worth to our stadium commission?

    The Invesco Field at Mile High naming-right deal:
    The Denver-based mutual fund company officially agreed to buy the naming rights to the Denver Broncos’ new home for $120 million at the end of January 2001. Half that money goes to the district for exterior naming rights over 20 years and the other half to the stadium’s principal tenant, the Denver Broncos, for advertising inside the building.

  11. Submitted by tom weist on 10/20/2009 - 02:50 pm.

    Should you really call something a “field” when it is indoors and bereft of any vegetative element? It’s more like a mall than a field. The naming thing makes it sound like the football stadium is an extension of the MOA, so why not call it the MOAFA (Mall of America Football Annex)?

  12. Submitted by Ray Sammons on 10/24/2009 - 05:11 pm.

    To say “Mall of America Field” without mentioning the Metrodome would be inaccurate. To mention it including the “Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome” makes it unwieldy, and as ink or air time is costly and accuracy seldom is a factor in sports reporting, it would be natural for local or national media to sacrifice that addendum.

    That accurate reporting in sports news is not prized especially not if it involves going against somebody’s marketing, is evidenced by the way the various media cover other things. There has not been a NFL team in Dallas for over thirty years, but I do not know of any local medium that does not say “Dallas Cowboys” rather than referring to “the team that calls itself the Dallas Cowboys” or citing Arlington or Irving where the team has been. The same applies for they way they refer to other NFL [e.g., Giants, Jets, Dolphins] and teams in other sports too.

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