What's in a name?
Not the millions of dollars a year the Parks Department had been counting on by peddling naming rights, according to the New York Post.
The agency has temporarily pulled the plug on a plan to raise money by auctioning off exclusive branding franchises at such venues as the restored pool in Williamsburg's McCarren Park (valued at $3 million) or the tennis center in Central Park (asking price: $5 million).
As The Post first reported, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe floated the plan 18 months ago, hoping to raise desperately needed revenue.
Benepe acknowledged that would "be difficult right now" to pull off, considering the dire state of the economy in mid-2009.
Nevertheless, he said he intended to test the market because "parks remain attractive opportunities for people who want to do good work."
Last week, Benepe had second thoughts.
"It's not a viable idea in this economic climate so we've removed it from the budget," he said in an e-mail. "We don't budget for what we can't attain."
Jackson Square - Manhattan. Cash Cows. Sponsorship signs like these are popping up more and more as the Bloomberg/Quinn administration continue to allocate a fraction of the funds needed to properly maintain, secure, and provide programing in our parks.
This year the administration allocated a record low in city funds as a percentage of the city budget, while continuing to extract more revenue from parks. Park properties are now responsible for generating 91% of city concession revenue. In FY 2010, parks generated more than $ 39 million dollars. (Photo: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on image to enlarge.