Anyone want to sponsor a subway station?

The above headline was, in essence, the question posed by Joel Epstein in a column published last week at the Huffington Post. Epstein wrote:

Why aren’t we asking the business and philanthropic community to help do their part by offering to pick up the tab on Metro station construction? With businesses and donors falling over themselves to purchase the naming rights to ballparks and concert halls, shouldn’t the Mayor and Metro be massaging the egos of AEG, Google, Occidental, and Sony to pick up the relatively modest tab of building a station (the big ticket item is tunneling through the methane-rich rock that served as the pols’ excuse to stop the project a quarter century ago…)? What’s wrong with a subway stop tagged by Oxy next to their headquarters at Wilshire and Westwood, or a Google Metro station near the transit friendly company’s Santa Monica headquarters? In fact, let’s let them throw in a robust Wi-Fi network for the whole transit system while we are at it so city employees and the rest of us can read our gmail while riding to and from work.

Not a bad idea, in my book — if you can find a business that can stomach the cost.

I’m told by Metro officials that the ballpark cost for building a subway station is about $100 million apiece but could go higher. By contrast, many stadium naming right deals cost corporations in the neighborhood of $1 million to $3 million a year, according to this nifty chart by ESPN.

Categories: Policy & Funding

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