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RIP JLC – Now the Budweiser Gardens

September 17, 2012

Today was the day the John Labatt Centre officially became no more. *tear* The JLC’s Twitter account had already changed their handle to @BudGardens days ago but today was the day the sign came down and the name change became real. I had for some time hoped, irrationally, that the powers that be would come to their senses and keep the classy title for the building that symbolizes London’s prime entertainment facility, but to no avail.

The Twitter profile for the Budweiser Gardens states that “Budweiser Gardens is the proud recipient of the 2012 Canadian Major Venue of the Year Award.” Well that’s just not true. The JLC won that award. And while I note that this is a business and its about garnering market share and visibility of something that is well-known – the Labatt name is pretty darn well-known in Canada. But everyone knows, its not about Canada. And its not about London, either. Its about money and the money that the London Civic Centre Corporation that will receive because of the name change.

Who cares if it reeks of pandering to the lowest common denominator.  It does not conjure up anything resembling the classy building it is.  Do we still call it the House of Green when the Knights hit the playoffs next spring?  Or the House of Greenbacks? Or Bullfrogs?  I’m being petty, I know.  I know, at least I hope, that the shows and headliners will still come to our fair city and grace the stage at that building on the corner of King and Talbot. I know that hockey fans will still flock to cheer on our hometown Knights.

But a little part of me will still call it the JLC, because it stands for a class establishment that showed the rest of the country (yes, the country – there are people across this COUNTRY, that know the name of the JLC), that London could put on a good show. That London is a city that has its own personality and isn’t simply a pit stop on the 401 between Toronto and the border. RIP JLC – former icon of London, Ontario. May the Budweiser Gardens live up to your good name.

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