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UW Basketball: Alaska Airlines Arena Will Always Be Hec Edmundson In Our Hearts

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Isaiah Thomas and the Washington Huskies christened the newly renamed Alaska Airlines arena with some absolutely beautiful basketball.

But as perfect a way it might have been to "open" a renamed arena, I'm firmly in agreement with SBN Seattle's own Washington State alum Brian Floyd.

Hec Edmundson Pavilion Gets A New Sponsor As Alaska Airlines Buys Naming Rights - The Daily Drip - SB Nation Seattle
Fans, both of Washington and rival schools, know the arena as Hec Ed. It is, in my opinion, one of the best in the country -- from the history, the feel of the arena and everything else that goes a game there. And all that is associated with Hec Ed, not an artificial name bought by a corporation.

Hec Ed is a tradition -- and one that's diluted by trying to force a new name on the fans. I understand having to sell the naming rights in the interest of making quick money in a time where athletic departments need it, but there's no amount of sponsorship will change what the arena is truly known as.

As a Bay Area native, I still refer to place the San Francisco 49ers play as "Candlestick Park" - I never even made an attempt to call it anything else and maintaining Candlestick Point throughout the name changes is simply insufficient.

I don't care how many corporations try to tell me otherwise: the arena my beloved yet beleaguered Golden State Warriors play in is still  the Oakland Coliseum (although, I've confessed that "The Oracle" is a cool place for a franchise perpetually playing for a brighter future to play).

And the Giants, well, I'll always call that ballpark "Pac Bell" because that was the original name, I guess. And maybe starting off corporate has something to do with having easily the best ballpark garlic fries in the U.S.

I don't know.

Anyway, the names of these places matter - it's difficult to unhinge the place our favorite sports memories occurred from the events themselves. That goes double for those of us with childhood memories in any one of these places:  just being in a place that enormous for the first time to watch a few dudes play sports was something special.

And even a Cougars fan can see that.