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This is the Blog of Fenton J. Beaver: Blogger, Historian and Oregon Rodent Laureate, Bringing you tid-bits of Beaver state history on an ocassional basis.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Memorial Coliseum and the Rose Garden

Coliseums, arenas, and stadiums are at their very heart of the purpose communal structures, tied to the region. There should be an aura of the land around and the people that use it somehow entwined into the architecture and name. The original plans for Memorial Coliseum called for it to be made out of timber, perfectly appropriate for an Oregon arena. The Rose Garden used 45,000 tons of recycled goods in its creation; a subtle but appropriate material for Oregon of present day. Then there is the name: Rose Garden. What could be more perfect for a place that calls itself the Rose City?

That’s all about to change soon. The Rose Garden Arena company, after several years on the edge of financial ruin has sold out and is selling the naming rights to the Blazers home. Lets all cross our fingers and hope for something like “Nike Garden” or “Adidas Arena” it seems like the two local sports giants would jump on the opportunity to bestow the nearest arena with their brand but it could just as easily end up something idiotic like Petco Park or "Luck Eagle Casino’s Palace o’ Sports."

Memorial Coliseum will remain Memorial Coliseum though. It will stoically gaze at the younger sibling that rose up out of its parking lot, taking pride in the fact that it was the location of the Trailblazers only championship in 1977. It will know that from its courtside seats sat the first President ever to watch an NBA game live. It will forget that that President was only Gerald Ford and the team he was watching the Blazers play, the Buffalo Braves, would become the worthless Los Angeles Clippers. Instead, it will remember that it was on Memorial Coliseum's court that the 1992 Dream Team played together for the first time before making history in Barcelona.

It will sit in quiet dignity contemplating the great events that took place within and honoring the soldiers it was named to memorialize.

Until it becomes a Costco.

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