The day after the grand opening the international press coverage was damning.
“Welcome to football in the orange blob.” “Guns N’ Roses to play in an orange.”
“Stockholms new arena in a big gob.” “In Sweden the sun is dirty orange.”
“Swedes have no idea a word in one language may have a different meaning altogether in another.”
“Not one official working for Stockholm city speaks English at a preschool level.”
The city quickly changed the name to the Prince Bertil Arena, but the damage was done. For years to come, Stockholm was the laughing stock of the event industry.
Inspired by the Friday Fictioneer prompt picture and an article I read as the decision to rename the Globe Arena to Avicii Arena was announced. The architects of the largest hemispherical building on Earth suggested the name Prince Bertil Arena, but the city wanted something different so they held a contest. 4.756 entries came in, but none of them won.
In the end the choice fell on a descriptive name. It was spherical, so why not name it Stockholm Glob Arena! Glob is swedish for Globe.
The name was registered and protected, before someone thankfully realized that glob would not be as internationally acceptable as first thought. And saved the city by adding an e to the name.
The reference to the Sun is because the building represents our star in the Sweden Solar System, the world’s largest permanent scale model of the Solar System.
Source on the near name debacle is from Dagens Nyheter, the article is in Swedish and behind their paywall. The Swedish Wikipedia article has more pictures, including of the construction.
Read other flash fiction by me here.
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