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NEW NAME FOR JERSEY'S ARENA TEAM SPARKS CONTROVERSY
Published January 14, 1997
The Red Dogs, the nickname and mascot for the new AFL team in New Jersey, have "angered civic organizations dedicated to alerting the public to the dangers of alcohol abuse" but there is also the "situation of having a team associated with one brewing company playing its home games at a facility where another brewer enjoys exclusive beer- selling rights," according to Guy Sterling of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. The name was selected in a franchise naming contest, and team officials liked the name, "both for its connection with football ... as well as its commercial potential." "Red Dog" is a beer distributed by the Miller Brewing Co. Team CEO Jim Leahy: "When we picked the name, we thought if we could go to Miller and get a sponsorship out of it, we'd have the best of all worlds." Miller signed on as a sponsor, but the NJ Sports & Exposition Authority, overseer of the Meadowlands, is "not keen" on the team's choice. The Red Dogs will play at Continental Airlines Arena, where Budweiser holds pouring rights and Anheuser- Busch is a major sponsor of the NJSEA. Authority President & CEO Robert Mulcahy III says the dispute between the brewing companies has yet to be resolved, but should be this week (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 1/12).