At some point in '63 Mr. Moses
decided that the Fair should have a stadium, a place for the
official opening of the Fair and also a place where certain major
events and shows could be put on, preferably free, to the public
so that people coming to the Fair wouldn't think that everything
inside the Fair cost money. He was also thinking about what types
of things could be left after the Fair as a kind of legacy for
Flushing Meadow Park which was much dearer to his heart than
the very temporary Fair.
But he wanted someone else
to pay for it. So he agreed to call it after any company that
would pay the money to build it. That was not as common a practice
as it is today, naming a quasi-public structure after a corporation,
and there was some controversy over the concept. Shea stadium
was named after Bill Shea, a New York lawyer who was instrumental
in getting the city to build it, but not a corporation. And Yankee
Stadium was named after the team that played there. Stadiums
were normally named after human beings or after teams, with the
notable exception of Wrigley Field in Chicago.
Ted Royal was the account
executive at J. Walter Thompson, the ad agency on the Fair account
(and later became my partner in my public relations firm after
the Fair). He had a few other accounts, including the Singer
Company. So one day Ted said to me , "Greg, you and I are
going to sell Singer on paying for that stadium." which
surprised me a bit. But it sounded interesting so I agreed. And
we did. We met with the head people from Singer one afternoon
in the Thompson offices and we were really terrific, I say modestly.
We sold them on the idea and they did pay for it and it became
Singer Bowl. That was the name that stayed with it for a few
years after the Fair. But when the US Tennis Association took
over, out went Singer. As a matter of fact, Singer no longer
exists either, in name or otherwise. I guess they had their 15
minutes of fame.
The Bowl was a very useful
facility during the Fair and of course it was the place where
the official opening ceremonies took place complete with LBJ
and complete with the Congress Of Racial Equality picketing outside.
And it rained. Quite a day.
- Greg Dawson, April, 2002
Greg Dawson, Director of Public
Relations for the New York World's Fair 1964/1965 Corporation
Be sure to read the complete interview with Greg Dawson