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WaMu Theater's name likely to change due to financial crisis

By Tim Fraser

Both the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York, as well as the WaMu Theater at Qwest Field in Seattle, are likely to see name changes in the near future following the collapse of the savings and loan giant Washington Mutual. On Friday, September 26, JPMorgan Chase & Co. obtained Washington Mutual Inc.'s branches for $1.9 billion after the $16.7 billion that was withdrawn from the bank by customers left the company "unsound", according to Bloomberg.

"We empathize with our business partner and its employees and at the appropriate time will speak with the proper people regarding the future," Barry Watkins, spokesman for Madison Square Garden, said adding to the New York Times that the current name of the theater in New York will remain the same for the near future.

Washington Mutual signed the naming rights for the theater at Madison Square Garden in May 2007. The deal included signage throughout the theatre and multiple ATM's located around the venue as well. The venue will play host to Margaret Cho and an extended run of Cirque du Soleil: Wintuk in the near future.

There has been no word about the naming rights of the WaMu Theater at Qwest Field, which was a little closer to home for the Seattle-based thrift. The venue, which converted to a theatre in 2006, is scheduled to host Robert Plant and Alison Krauss tomorrow night, October 1.

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