We learned on July 18 that the directors of the Prairie Capital Convention Center approved the sale of naming rights to the building to the Bank of Springfield for $150,000 per year for 10 years. The "facility" during that period will be known as -- drum roll, please -- the Bank of Springfield Center.
The public should be paying the bank for sparing them having to use the convention hall's original name. The Springfield Metropolitan Exposition and Auditorium Authority in 1975 had a contest to name it. (The winner, history should note, was the brainchild of Mrs Duane Smalley of Lincoln,) Not all the contestants took the matter seriously, and there were the usual attempts at wit, which I will spare you. However, two of the failed suggestions that were dismissed as sneer-worthy by the SJ-R's Toby McDaniel, the voice of Everyman in those days, were rather good -- Civictorium and Il Convarena. The latter in particular is wonderfully musical, although I suspect the box office would have been plagued by hungry tourists thinking they might get a decent pasta pesce.