What's in a name? Bit of a hassle

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 22 2006 12:00 a.m. MST

The name has changed and the dominoes are falling, and anyone who has incorporated the words Delta Center into their business or day-to-day lexicon over the past 15 years has to adjust.
That means new signs and sounds aboard a TRAX train. Trains headed toward the newly named EnergySolutions Arena now have signs that read "Salt Lake City." And that soothing recorded voice that announces train stops won't be saying "Delta Center" anymore.
"Passengers will immediately begin to notice the difference," said Justin Jones, spokesman for the Utah Transit Authority.
Larry H. Miller announced Monday that he had struck a 10-year naming-rights deal with waste-management company EnergySolutions, whose banner now covers the old Delta Center sign on Miller's building. UTA is being forced to follow suit on its signs.
Jones said UTA will be moving toward using more generic names for all of its destinations for buses and trains. UTA also updates its printed schedules three times a year, and the next update is next month, so the next schedules with the new arena name won't cost UTA any extra money.
Overall, Jones said that the costs of a name change to UTA will be "minimal."
But the impact doesn't stop where the TRAX train ends.
Salt Lake City has 50 way-finding signs around town that point the direction toward the Delta Center, said Nikki Bown, the city's public-services communications manager.
Way-finding signs in the city sometimes use vinyl stickers that can be peeled off and replaced, while others have the words actually printed on the signs. Bown said city staff members are working to determine how many Delta Center signs need to be replaced.
She said the city plans to meet with Larry H. Miller's representatives to try to negotiate financial assistance from his company for sign replacements.
Other alterations stemming from the name change require killing and replacing a few kilobytes.
Internet searches Tuesday for "Delta Center" turned up 428,000 hits on Google and 341,000 hits on Yahoo. If you click on the link to Ticketmaster, that site has already changed references to read EnergySolutions Arena. The same goes for the home page at www.deltacenter.com.
Even the popular Web site for Wikipedia has already recognized the change, complete with the arena's new logo.
Then there's the collective subconscious of those who are used to saying, "I'm going to the Delta Center." How will that change?
Jazz fan Adam Gray, 23, thinks the new name is too long. So, he's simply going to tell his friends, "I'm going to the game."
And in case you thought items with the old name on them might be worth some extra cash to collectors, Gray, who manages a sports-card and memorabilia shop, said the name change won't make much, if any, difference.

E-mail: sspeckman@desnews.com

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