Ever heard of Thomas M. Cooley law school?
If not, here is a quick update: it has 3,500 full- and part-time students (“diploma mill”), it is located in Lansing, MI (upbeat locale), and…it will soon share a name with a minor league baseball stadium.
As pointed out by Above The Law, the school is buying the naming rights to Oldsmobile Park, the stadium home of the Lansing Lugnuts. Part of the deal when GM went belly-up last year was that it would have to relinquish the rights.
It’s not clear how much the law school is coughing up for the esteemed placement, but GM paid $1.5 million per year.
ATL: The stadium (which opened in 1996) cost $12.8 million and is still maintained in part by taxpayers in Lansing. You’d think that maybe, just maybe, the citizens of Lansing, Michigan would get to name their own damn baseball park — since they pay for it and everything — but that’s not how the business of baseball works these days. As long as fans are willing to pay the price of a ticket, the lords of baseball don’t really care about the fans, the history and tradition of the game, or the civic pride a ballpark can bring to an American town.
A board member was quoted in the Lansing State Journal saying it would be an attraction to new students and affirm the school’s role in the community.
Two glaring things: first (as Elie Mystal points out), why does this school need more students? But also, last we checked, GM’s demise crippled the local economy in Lansing. How much benefit can marketing locally really encourage? And isn’t it just bad luck, not to mention bad business, to repeat a pattern of irreconcilable spending for the sake of apparent vanity?
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