Bowman Field naming rights: The city trades purity of history for much-needed revenue

Bowman Field will carry signage that refers to it as BB&T Bank for another two years.

City Council has approved a naming rights agreement extension with the bank that allows signage on and around the entrance of Bowman Field and throughout the historic facility.

Given the clear historic value of Bowman Field, purists probably cringe that the naming rights craze that has spread to almost all of the larger stadiums in more metropolitan areas throughout the country has found its way to our local home for the minor league baseball team.

And it would be great if the home of the Williamsport Crosscutters was simply Bowman Field, same as it was known for the Williamsport Grays more than a half century ago.

But the genie is out of the bottle.

Cities big and small need fresh revenue. And businesses love the identification and branding that comes with having their name attached to a sports facility where the community gathers for a positive experience.

In the case of the city and BB&T Bank, Williamsport government’s coffers will be enriched by $35,000 each year of the two-year agreement. That’s $70,000 the city otherwise would not have. That’s $70,000 less in taxpayer burden.

It’s not a large bit of relief, but it’s relief nonetheless.

The tradeoff of a little historic purity in return for some much-needed fresh revenue fits the times, plain and simple.