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Bill's best sponsor for Charleston's arena

Through no fault of its own, Charleston sometimes finds itself a little behind the curve.

Fashions and trends that catch on in other parts of the country can be doggedly slow in making their way to Charley West.

We were achingly slow to get our first Starbucks and our first Chipotle. We are still not-so-anxiously waiting on our first Popeye’s Chicken.

It is an ongoing source of local irritation and embarrassment. When are we ever going to get a Trader Joe’s? A Whole Foods? A bar-cade?

The plodding pace of trying to keep up with our “oh-so-cool” sister cities has never been more pronounced than with the naming rights to performance halls and coliseums. Nearby Huntington, for example, has Mountain Health Arena, formerly Big Sandy Superstore Arena.

A public space branded by a big, fat corporate entity is one of the crown jewels of a growing metropolitan area. So, imagine my delight when I heard the city was looking into auctioning off the naming rights to the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center (the artist formerly known as the Charleston Civic Center) to some exceedingly vain, but cash rich, business entity.

But then reality set in.

Odds are, it will be a coal industry group that puts the money down to buy up the naming rights for the city’s largest performance hall. We should just brace ourselves for the inevitable Friends of Coal Center for Arts, Music, Volleyball and Stuff.

If we’re lucky, locals will give it a fun nickname. I’m partial to “The Lumpy.”

There’s always a chance Walmart, one of the state’s largest private employers, might step in, but Charleston’s coliseum is closer to fun-sized than giant-sized. The retail behemoth might not want to put its entire name on the building.

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We might end up with the Walmart Lawn and Garden Center Arena.

But my hope is that instead of a big national sponsor, local interests would prevail.

My best best for a sponsor for the coliseum would be Tudor’s Biscuit World. It’s really a no-brainer.

Who wouldn’t want to go see big-name acts like Whitesnake or Night Ranger at the Tudor’s Biscuit Dome and Hospitality Center?

Heck, rock bands would want the name of the venue on their tour T-shirts. How often do you get to play a biscuit dome?

Besides that, Tudor’s is the state’s most recognizable local brand, beloved by thousands of West Virginians who start their days consuming up to two-thirds of their daily caloric intake in a single breakfast sandwich.

Along with naming the building, I’d hope there’d be some updates to the facility. The coliseum could be decorated in yellow and brown, just like the wrapper of a fluffy-but-filling Tudor’s biscuit.

This could be an everlasting monument to the restaurant chain — or a monument for about 10 years, until the naming rights run out and the company decides to lobby for its own state park.

I am not against that idea, either.

Naturally, naming the coliseum after Tudor’s might be somewhat divisive. But in fairness, Suzi’s Hamburgers Arena sounds pretty good, too.

Bill Lynch covers entertainment.

He can be reached at 304-348-5195


Follow @lostHwys on Twitter

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