My two-cents, for what it's worth: yes, the very wealthy Illitch family can name "their" arena anything they want. It's what weathy people do, a lot. They name big garish buildings after themselves, in spite of the fact that the big fancy building was built on the backs of tons of lower caste people who dedicated their working lives to creating that funds that made the big fancy building possible.
Do I think they care for the franchise and the players as people -- yes, I do believe that. I've seen the family treat players like their own family plenty of times when things got rough for a player.
This is a two-edged sword. Without the fans buying pizza (never had it, but hear it's bad, or good, depending on who you ask), and fans to pay a LOT for game tickets for decades on end -- the Illitches would not be quite so wealthy. That said, I believe the fans and people of Detroit should have a vote in what the new arena is called. Or, at the very least, have the right to protest if they think the new name is stupid.
Personally, I would have really liked to see the new arena named Gordie Howe Arena. It would have been respectful, very fitting and I suspect NO ONE would have said anything other than -- well done!! Honor the franchise which contributed heavily to the wealth -- pizza was part of it... not all of the story.
I would have been so proud to say "I've been to The Gordie," to see my Wings. Now, I will just say, glad I got to see the new Red Wings Arena. That's what it will be called in my feeble little fan brain.
- NerveDamage likes this