The company managing Copps Coliseum will approach the city next week for permission to rename the arena.

Global Spectrum will appear before Hamilton’s general issues committee Wednesday with a proposal to rename the facility. 

General manager Scott Warren wouldn’t say who the naming party is, but they may be at the meeting, he said.

The company tried to keep the request under wraps. In Warren's initial request to speak to councillors, he asked that it be in camera and not made public.

'The support from the Copps family is going to be critical to me.'- Coun. Brian McHattie

The city signed an agreement with Global Spectrum last year to manage Copps Coliseum, Hamilton Place and the Molson Canadian Studio. That agreement allows Global Spectrum to pursue a naming rights partner, Warren said. But the city has to approve it.

Warren wouldn’t give any details “out of respect for the process,” he said. But he will field questions at Wednesday’s meeting.

Copps Coliseum is named after Victor Copps, a long-time mayor of Hamilton. He was the patriarch of a family well known in Hamilton politics. His daughter, Sheila, went on to become an MP and one-time deputy prime minister. 

Victor Copps was beloved and respected in the community, said Larry DiIanni, a former Hamilton mayor who knew Copps.

Still need to honour Copps

"Our history and how we name and why we name things after people has to be respected," he said. "Whatever happens in that debate, we’ve got to find a way of honouring and recognizing Vic Copps." 

For Coun. Brian McHattie, it matters how the Copps family feels about the name change. It was Vic Copps's vision to have an NHL-size arena in Hamilton, he said.

"The support from the Copps family is going to be critical to me, and that we’ve got a plan and a commitment to recognize Vic Copps in a number of ways," said McHattie, a Ward 1 councillor and mayoral hopeful.

It matters who the coliseum is named after too, he said. The ideal is a corporation with no political baggage in the community.

"I wouldn’t be a fan of (it being) OLG, just as an example," he said.

'I'm calling it Copps Coliseum'

If the name is changed, Dave Kuruc, owner of Mixed Media on James Street North, plans to sell T-shirts that say "I'm calling it Copps Coliseum."

He made similar ones about Ivor Wynne Stadium, which has been demolished. The new stadium on the same site is called Tim Horton's Field.

He sold about 50 shirts in the span of about two months. He only has one left.

"It did really well because people aren't happy with the name change." 

If the general issues committee approves the renaming, it will go to council for final approval on Jan. 22. If that’s approved, “we’ll start taking next steps from there,” Warren said.