Amarillo residents are expressing their displeasure with a series of names that were unveiled this week as the finalists in the Amarillo Professional Baseball "Name the Team" sweepstakes.
On Wednesday, team officials released five names that were submitted by fans and selected by team officials. The finalists - the Boot Scooters, the Bronc Busters, the Jerky, the Long Haulers and the Sod Poodles - have been put out to the public for a vote. However, immediately following the release of the names, the reaction was a swift push back.
Residents on both sides of the isle pushed back against the five finalists, criticizing the names that were selected. Former Amarillo mayor Debra McCartt was one former City of Amarillo official seen on the Amarillo Professional Baseball Facebook page, demanding new finalists. Several others involved with the project or campaign for the $32 million stadium in 2015 were also spotted online making public disagreements about the team's name options.
Additionally, some Amarillo residents launched a handful of petitions this week, requesting new names in the finalist competition. One of the most prominent petitions, found on iPetitions.com, has reached over 6,000 signatures from angry sports fans demanding new names in the competition.
However, according to High Plains Pundit's Dan Butcher, officials with the organization say that they are still pushing forward with the team's naming competition.
"We understand how people feel," club manager Tony Ensor told Butcher. "We expected a lot of that kickback so to speak, but we want them to understand that this is part of a process.You go through the process and I think if they give it a chance, they're really going to enjoy what we are going to do with the brand and the name and see how it culminates in the end."
The naming competition is expected to end next month. A winner will be announced in the fall.
For information on the naming competition, please visit amarilloprobaseball.com.