Our Town, Their Billboard: 8 Great Moments In Chicago Naming-Rights History

07/12/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Chicago history is littered with local institutions converted to billboards for big corporate spenders, be it Shell buying up the Air and Water Show or Macy's takeover of Marshall Field. It's always sad to see our fair city reduced to cheap advertisements and our memories bound forever to the names of faceless behemoths ("Great show at the Ford last night!"), but must a new name on the outside really mean provincial death on the inside? Must we all become petulant, pouting teenagers once The Man starts buying up our precious venues and landmarks? As the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority considers selling the Navy Pier and McCormick Place marquees to the highest bidder, The A.V. Club dug deep into the world of corporate colloquialism and found the marriage of entity and venue hiding at least a sliver of an upside.

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