SPOKANE, Wash. -- Arena managers decided Friday to end a temporary name change at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. Employees confirmed Friday afternoon that the “Bon Jovi Arena” promotion had ended after only one day.
Managers announced Thursday that the arena would temporarily be called “Bon Jovi Arena” to promote the concert coming this fall.
However, some veterans and military supporters were upset over a sign hanging outside Spokane Veterans Arena proclaiming the facility was temporarily called “Bon Jovi Arena.”
The rock band performs in Spokane on October 6th.
On Thursday, arena managers said it was a big deal to have Bon Jovi coming to Spokane.
“It was a lot of work to get here,” said General Manager Matt Gibson. “It’s a big touring production and normally it only hits the major markets. For us to get it here in Spokane is a major deal for us.”
“In order to do that,” he added, “we wanted to reach out and congratulate Bon Jovi for coming to Spokane. It’s a marketing idea. It’s a promotional push. By no means are we permanently changing the name of the arena to anything other than Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.”
Part of the concern many people had was the fact that the words "Veterans Memorial" did not appear on the newly unveiled banner.
"It's because, once you get a name that's 16 syllables long, it's a little hard to market that as something other than what it's intended for," Gibson explained." In this case Bon Jovi Arena again was something meant to highlight the event itself, not necessarily the venue."
However, Gibson was not bothered by the negative feedback.
"Bon Jovi is one of the largest veterans’ supporters in the country. He's done this for over 30 years. He's donated his time and his materials and his funds to various veterans groups with shows and activities and all sorts of things. For anyone to say this is not in the spirit of respecting veterans is ridiculous," Gibson said, adding, "We do nothing but respect veterans in this venue and so do the acts that come here."
“It’s not a [PR] mistake at all,” Gibson continued. “The only mistake is that people don’t read well enough or they misunderstand what we are doing or the media misrepresents what we are doing as well.”