February 18, 2014 6:01 a.m.
As sports fans know, the games these days are all about the names. There are Safeco Field and CenturyLink Field in Seattle. There are the Moda Center and, as of now, Providence Park in Portland. There are all kinds of stadiums and arenas bearing the names of all kinds of companies, reflecting the modern ethos that everything does, indeed, have a price.The Moda Center, home of the Portland Trail Blazers, was the Rose Garden for the first 18 years of its existence. Last year, when arena management sold naming rights to the building for the first time, the seminal question was, "What in the heck is a Moda?" Which is exactly the point. Moda Health, which previously was ODS and before that was Oregon Dental Service, reportedly paid about $4 million a year for a deal that would put its name on the building and get people to ask, "What in the heck is Moda?"