National Guard Seeks to Pay $6M For Naming Rights of Major DC Sports Stadium

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In its latest effort to boost the number of new recruits, the National Guard has reportedly signed a $6 million deal to buy the naming rights of Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium. Under the plan the stadium would change its official name to National Guard Field at RFK. The Guard would also be granted advertising space inside and outside the stadium, along with other promotional opportunities.

Sports commentator Dave Zirin writes on Counterpunch: “[T]he Guard — the under-trained, under equipped, one-weekend-a-month-National Guard — is an astounding 40% of the boots on the ground in Iraq. The persistence of the Iraqi resistance and the ‘War on Terror’s’ expansionist agenda means the Pentagon needs more boots. This is why, according to Time Magazine, the Guard has hired 1,400 new recruiters. This is why, even though 25,000 soldiers are currently on food stamps, there is $6 million in the Pentagon Budget for stadium naming rights.

“This is also why RFK stadium of Southeast DC is a perfect locale for their new publicity push. Since September 11th, Armed Forces enlistment by African-American men has dropped by 47%. Southeast DC, with its decrepit high schools and spiraling unemployment makes for an ideal location. Presumably, even if they can’t afford tickets, they can come on by to sign up at the adjacent recruitment stands. It’s telling in fact that the only objections to this purchase, which could scuttle the deal, are from Sen. John Warner (R-VA) who thinks the purchase doesn’t do ENOUGH to raise the guards profile and increase recruitment.”

4 Responses to “National Guard Seeks to Pay $6M For Naming Rights of Major DC Sports Stadium”

  1. IRR Soldier.... Says:

    This is UNBELIEVABLE!

    I cannot believe that $6 million of federal funds would be used to “brand” a sports stadium for an entity ordained in our Constiution – the National Guard. Does anyone really think that more folks will enlist through this boondoggle?

    I am deeply troubled by the gimmicks being used to lure recruits: NASCAR, Rodeo sponsorships, the High School All-American football game, video games etc.

    We as Americans, both on the left and right, need to ask if gimmicks are the best way to man our military.

    I do not believe they are ,and each news story like this further strengthens my resolve that we must reinstitute the draft!

  2. John J McCarthy Says:

    I was shopping last weekend and saw 11-12 year old boys and girls in uniforms doing close order drill in the parking lot of the store. Hitler Youth immediately came to mind.

    See my site and let me know what I can do to spread the word to those soon to be eleligible for service…..

    I have recently touched base with ACLU here in Los Angeles and they are interested in our efforts being denied to speak to students on campus in High Schools in Southern California re the Truth vs glossy pamphlets being passed out by recruiters on campus. Stay tuned….

    Bests,
    John McCarthy
    310 397 1143 In Los Angeles

  3. Susan Says:

    Great story. I took your story, found additional sources, and ran with it on Daily Kos and BoomanTribune.

  4. Raj Seshadri Says:

    Jeebus, who can I complain to about this? What an egregious misuse of public funding!

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