Broke cities sell naming rights

Michael Cooper, reporting for the New York Times:

After Baltimore officials made the wrenching decision to close three fire companies later this summer, the City Council initially sought to avert the cuts with a new money-raising strategy: it passed a resolution this month urging the administration to explore selling ads on the city’s fire trucks.

Some people will say, “Money is money.” But there’s something cheapening about slathering fire hydrants with KFC ads and slapping billboards on firetrucks. If economic downturns lead people to reevaluate their priorities, what does this say about us today? 

The last time our economy was in the doldrums, we built civic structures that served double duty as monuments. Today? We’re auctioning them off.

Thanks to the support of readers like you, Per Square Mile remains independent and ad-free.

If you enjoy what you read, please consider supporting the site with a donation.

opening times