Sunday, April 3, 2016

Dispensing Controversy in Mile High Naming Rights

Controversy has long surrounded what to call the Denver Bronco's home.  Many fans wanted to continue to call the new stadium "Mile High" since it was immediately adjacent to the old complex.  But the facility was mostly paid for by local taxpayers and officials wanted to re-cooperate some monies from the big business of sports so naming rights were sold.

When the Bronco's new home was inaugurated in 2001, it was officially known as Invesco Field at Mile High.  The Denver Post did not want to include corporate advertising in their sports coverage, so they would just call it "Mile High Field".  After several years, the local newspaper relented and included the Invesco name.  Nevertheless, Investco transferred the naming rights to the stadium to the Sports Authority in 2011, with the Sports Authority paying the Metropolitan Stadium District $6 million a year.

Things may change with the Sports Authority in the process of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. If the Sports Authority is unable to pony up their payment, naming rights may be up for grabs.  On April 1st, the news broke that one of the earnest aspirants to buy naming rights is a Colorado cannabis dispensary, Native Roots.

As apropos as it may seem to have a marijuana dispensary label slapped on the "Mile High" complex, it may be mooted by federal law.  The federal government considers marijuana a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance under the Controlled Substances Act (84 Stat. 1236), thus advertising would be prohibited. Even though states such as Colorado and Washington (and the District of Calamity) have loosened laws prohibiting recreational use of cannabis, federal laws are still on the books.  State laws also put limits on the outdoor advertising of medical marijuana.

Additionally, the NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell has reaffirmed a League policy which bans marijuana . Considering how the NFL has a reputation problem with so many athletes getting into trouble that it has been facetiously called "The National Felons League" that it is dubious if the league wants to further agitate straight laced fans by having a stadium named the Native Roots Field at Mile High.

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