LOS ANGELES — What's in a name? Not pro football, apparently, if the name includes Industry.
Planners of a 75,000-seat football stadium in the Southern California city of Industry have stopped using that name when referring to the location of the proposed venue, said John Semcken, vice president of developer Majestic Realty Co.
The change came at the request of NFL officials, who would have to support a team's move to the stadium.
The 600-acre site in Industry, where the company has permits to build its $800 million venue, is now being exclusively referred to as Grand Crossing, Semcken said.
"I was specifically asked if I could change the name of the city by the National Football League, and I said yes and I did it," he said. "It's an impression that they have, which was a negative impression, and there's no reason to have it. You just get rid of it."
Of course, the actual name of the city of warehouses, food makers and other light industry about 15 miles east of Los Angeles isn't going to change. But Semcken said Grand Crossing would be used as the address of the venue after it's built.
Until then, it will be used to promote Majestic's proposal – now known as Los Angeles Stadium.
Grand Crossing is one of two competing proposals that aim to bring pro football back to Los Angeles 15 years after the Rams and Raiders left the nation's second-largest TV market. Sports and entertainment company AEG has been advancing a rival plan to build a 64,000-seat stadium on the downtown site of the Los Angeles convention center.
Both camps have said they hope to recruit a team – and possibly two – from among franchises in the league that need a new stadium to maximize revenue but are unable to get one built in their current location.
League spokesman Brian McCarthy declined to comment on Majestic's name change request.
Industry City Manager Kevin Radecki did not return a call, but Semcken said city officials had no problem with jettisoning the Industry moniker for the stadium site.
G.U. Krueger, who advises property companies with the research and consulting firm HousingEcon.com Inc., said Majestic appeared to be taking a page from the residential developers playbook by seeking to improve the image of a location by giving it a more attractive name.
For example, many new housing developments in Southern California take on Spanish names that harken back to the region's romanticized Mission era past, he said.
In Los Angeles, meanwhile, developers in the gentrifying corner of downtown that includes Staples and LA Live began referring to the area as South Park to differentiate it from nearby neighborhoods such as Skid Row with less inviting reputations.
Semcken said he borrowed the Grand Crossing name from an industrial development that Majestic built nearby.
Diane Prange, chief linguistics officer for branding-consultancy Strategic Name Development, said the company was wise to adopt a more appealing locator name before the Industry label took hold.
"I believe the word industry has those connotations of not being where somebody wants to go for an entertainment venue or being where somebody wants to go to spend an evening with family," Prange said.
But she questioned the company's choice of a replacement name.
"They might want to rethink it," she said. "When we first heard it, the first thing we thought is it sounds like a mall or a shopping center."