PORTLAND – The Portland Trail Blazers announced Tuesday that the Rose Garden Arena, the landmark sports venue in North Portland, will be re-named the Moda Center. Fans immediately voiced their frustration, creating an online petition and Facebook page to boycott the change.
The Change.org petition is titled 'Renaming the Rose Garden the Moda Center: Keep the Rose Garden Name that has been around since 1995.'
The website includes an open letter to Chris McGowan, president of the Trail Blazers, urging him to reconsider the name.
Organizers say the only thing ‘Moda Center’ has to do with Portland is that it is “the company who coughed up the money for a 10-year contract with the Portland Trailblazers.”
The petition has a goal of 5,000 signatures.
A Facebook page, ‘Rose Garden Forever,’ was also created in support of the petition.
“Changing a piece of Portland History that has such a strong link to Portland and its name of the City of Roses should not be broken and should be treated as a treasure in the history of our great city,” the ‘Rose Garden Forever’ Facebook page says.
Background: Rose Garden renamed 'Moda Center'
On Wednesday the Trail Blazers released a statement concerning the controversial name change.
“We are aware that some of our fans are emotional over this news. We respect the opinions of all of our fans and are hopeful that they will eventually understand that this is good for the long term success of the team and arena," it says.