BOSTON – The arena is in downtown Boston (search), the heart of Red Sox Nation. There couldn't be a bigger insult than to name it after the captain of the hated New York Yankees.
But that's just what Manhattan lawyer Kerry Konrad aims to do next Tuesday after his $2,325 bid won an eBay (search) auction giving him the one-day naming rights to the FleetCenter.
Konrad's proposed name: the Derek Jeter Center, after the Yankee shortstop.
His winning bid threw the FleetCenter brass into a dilemma.
"I told him, 'I don't think we can approve that name,'" arena spokesman Jim Delaney said.
He said he would talk it over Friday with FleetCenter president Richard Krezwick and a decision would be made by the end of the day. Arena officials have reserved the right to approve or reject any winning bid.
The FleetCenter is home to the Boston Celtics (search) and Boston Bruins. The name became obsolete after Bank of America acquired FleetBoston Financial last year and the Charlotte, N.C., banking giant opted not to retain the naming rights.
While the arena's owner, Delaware North Cos., searches for a new long-term partner, it has been offering one-day naming rights on eBay and donating the proceeds to charity. Past winners have included an online casino and a California man who named it for his wife as a Valentine's Day present. The names are posted on signs around the arena and on fleetcenter.com
Konrad, a Harvard alum, had the high bid for the March 1 naming rights. His wife, Nina Webb, said it was part of a 20-year college rivalry with some Boston buddies.
Delaney said Konrad has been understanding about their predicament, even suggesting that if his Boston friends match his winning bid, they can all settle on a 24-hour name for the arena.
"That name may not be as bad as A-Rod," Delaney said, referring to Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriquez, "but it's still considered obscene."