It might be hard to believe for some, but it’s been nearly 10 years since Affinity Place opened to the public, and naming rights for the building and its many amenities are set to expire at the end of August.
The City of Estevan is therefore embarking on the process of selling the sponsorships to the facility and other sports and recreation sites.
Estevan city council approved the naming rights plan, submitted by city clerk Judy Pilloud, at Monday night’s meeting. A brochure, prepared by destination marketing communications consultant Rebecca Westling, will be distributed into the community.
“We’re keeping it simple,” said Mayor Roy Ludwig, who chaired the new arena committee when Affinity Place was built.
The big-ticket item is Affinity Place itself, which carries a price tag of $100,000 a year for five years. During the fundraising for Affinity, it was sold for $100,000 a year for 10 years.
But there are other high-profile facilities available, including the Estevan Leisure Centre’s swimming pool, currently named the RM of Estevan Aquatic Centre, for $50,000 per year for five years; the south arena, known as the Power Dodge Ice Centre, for $10,000 annually; and the Estevan Public Library for $30,000 each year.
Corporate boxes inside Affinity Place, which were the hottest seller during the last naming rights campaign, will be $5,000 a year.
The current naming rights holders, including Affinity Credit Union for the events centre, will be given the right of first refusal.
“We’re getting a hold of all of those people now, and asking them,” said Ludwig.
Among the attributes at Affinity Place that are for sale this time around are the different sides and corners of the centre ice score clock, the upstairs lounge, the two press boxes, the lobby, the Zamboni, the two players boxes and two penalty boxes, elevator, referees’ room, dressing rooms, the walking track and more.
Each of the 24 sections inside the building are also available again.
Not for sale this time around are the individual seats and standing room spots that were sold last time, or the sound baffles that hang from the Affinity Place ceiling.
In the Estevan Leisure Centre, people can sponsor the squash courts, the Estevan Arts Council craft room, weight room and multi-purpose room, ranging from $1,000-$1,500 per year for five years.
Also available for sale this time around are program opportunities, the skate park, tennis courts and parks and pathway benches.
And the library’s naming rights will be for sale, too. That wasn’t an option a decade ago.
During the meeting, council decided not to sell the title to pathways, parks and spray parks. Councillor Travis Frank asked about why they were included in the package this time around, and wondering if they were for sale last time.
“I know that we do have, in particular, one situation where we do have a company that’s doing some funding for a park, but I like to consider that … a bit more of a one-off,” said Frank.
The city has been looking at dividing pathways into sections and naming them after people who have made big contributions to the community, since they have been running out of streets to name after significant people.
It was also noted at Monday’s meeting that the city would not have a corporate box in the events centre this time, and that box would go to somebody on the wait list. Councillor Shelly Veroba pointed out that the city having a box had generated some negative comments over the years.
One item that won’t be for sale this time is the Estevan Leisure Centre name. It was available for the previous sale, but had no takers.
“We discussed that, and given the economic situation right now, we thought that would be the best moving forward.”
The biggest difference between this campaign and the previous one is that naming rights this time around will be five years as opposed to 10 years.
“Hopefully in five years the economy will have bounced back,” said Ludwig.
It’s also why most of the items that are for sale this time around have the same price as before.
“We’re basically continuing the ask for the different parts of Affinity,” said Ludwig.
Also, the length of the campaign will be different. The last one started in 2007 and wrapped up in 2011. This time it will be carried out in less than a year.
“Now that we’ve already had people who have been paying, we already have a substantial waiting list, for example, for the boxes, we feel we can get by with the shorter time frame.”
The money raised through the naming rights sales will be directed towards upgrades and maintenance in these facilities. The money for a part of Affinity Place will be spent in that area.
“These costs don’t go away. Keeping these facilities up to date is a huge cost, and one that we have to continue to put into the buildings to keep them in good shape,” said Ludwig.
Naming rights sales during the fundraising and construction for Affinity Place brought in $7 million. There wasn’t a goal included in Monday night’s council package, but this campaign has the ability to generate millions of dollars.