The MTA won't be renaming Brooklyn's Hoyt-Schermerhorn subway station after Michael Jackson. City Councilwoman Letitia James first proposed the idea a few weeks back, since the station is where Jackson filmed his "Bad" video in 1987. But the MTA has taken a pass—even though it recently sold off naming rights to another subway station to Barclays for $4 million.
So if his fans could raise $4 million to "sponsor" the station in honor of Michael Jackson, could they also secure naming rights? (Or even a fraction of that, since Hoyt-Schermerhorn is arguably a smaller and less visible station with only the A, C and G lines, so perhaps only $2 million.) Given his fan base and the power of online fund-raising for philanthropy and politics, this is not an outlandish idea. (If that is successful, then next up: the Prince Street stop could become "the station formerly known as Prince.")
The MTA doesn't appear to be too impressed with the idea. ("I would defer on commenting on any hypotheticals," says an MTA spokesperson.)
But given how desperate for cash the MTA has become, it might not be such a bad idea to open it up to the public. Sure, a few million teenagers would probably end up contributing a buck apiece to rename a station in Rick Astley's honor. But at least MTA wouldn't be forced to raise subway fares. And would anyone even notice if the "Astor" in Astor Square was changed to "Astley"?