Among the main topics discussed in Wednesday's LAFC roundtable was the name and the process of settling on a name.
First, team president and co-owner Tom Penn, who led the discussion with seven members of the public, made it clear that the club would not be going through the process of settling on a name until a stadium site had been secured, and presumably announced publicly.
"There was a period where we thought we would name the team and do the colors and the crest and all that sort of stuff sooner rather than later," Penn said during his opening remarks. "And then the more we got into the stadium search, we decided it made more sense to wait. We gotta do [the stadium] first, because that so much defines what we are, where we are, who we claim to be. And we felt like it was a reverse order if we did it any other way.
"Our intention is to get the stadium deal locked up and effectively announced, and then go through a formal process with our fans that's going to involve the name first, because we're not totally locked in.
"Colors, we're going to sample different colors with everybody, and we're going to get to input on the actual proposed crest and the concepts there. And then at the end of that process, which would happen pretty quickly after we decide where the stadium is, we'll have a much clearer picture of who we are and what we then build around, because we know where we're going to be, we'll establish what we are there, and then we'll let you guys and the rest of you guys out there, really have an authentic voice in all this stuff. And then away we go."
I'll get into the stadium details shared by Penn in a separate post. But Penn also asked those of us present in the group for our views regarding LAFC as a permanent name of the team.
We did not take votes, as such, but nobody in the room seemed dead set against it, and it seemed like just about all of the participants liked the name. While I did offer my personal opinion that the name was fine, but I don't really have strong feelings, I did say that some people I've talked to regard the name as boring. But again, the sentiment was largely positive regarding the name.
Penn brought up the possibility to adding "City" to the name, specifically saying "LA City," but also allowing for theoretical variations on putting "City" in the name. Overall, the group was far less amenable to that possibility, and several participants said they preferred LAFC to adding "City." Whether Penn was just throwing that out there, or if that's a possible variation to be publicly unveiled (and discussed, possibly voted on) in the future, of course, was unclear.
At the very end of the event, one of the participants gave Penn mock-ups of potential crests that he said a friend created. Penn joked to a staff member in the meeting that here were more going to the group they have amassed thus far. I asked Penn if the club was soliciting design submissions from the public, but Penn poured cold water on that for legal reasons. He said that while they were getting a lot of ideas (he didn't explain how and who they were coming from), they weren't going to open a crest design process to the general public so as not to run afoul of trademark infringements. So for all you amateur (and why not, professional) designers out there who want to design LAFC's crest, you'll need to use some backchannel ways to get the design in their hands if you have any interest in doing it, because it seems there won't be an open invitation.
Still, it appears the club is going to go through with their promise on the day of their unveiling in getting fan input regarding the name, team colors, and crest. Penn did not specifically say there would be a popular vote for these things beyond the colors, which he ask the room if that would be a good idea, to have the public choose between three possibilities (we replied that it would). My guess is the same would be the case for the name and crest, but Penn didn't actually say that would be the method of public input. So stay tuned on details regarding that process.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!