The Metro Centre in Halifax could get a new name, for a price, if city staff gets its way.
The recommendation suggests selling the naming rights to the Metro Centre to pay for a $6 million face lift.
“We’ve got some good life left in the building but it is time to reinvest in the comfort areas,” said Trade Center Ltd. CEO Scott Ferguson.
He runs the 35–year-old venue for concerts and the Mooseheads hockey team.
The concrete and pipes under the ice need an upgrade and patrons are demanding more washrooms and better seats. Finding corporate sponsors to pay for that is up for debate.
“It’s becoming a standard in the industry. Either when you are building a new structure or when you’re looking to conduct some kind of a refit,” he said.
Think Air Canada Centre in Toronto or the newly named Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa. Soliciting companies to buy naming or advertising space on arenas owned by the public is not as common in this region, but the proposal was quickly embraced by hockey fans Mike Mahoney and Brian Tapper.
"I think it’s a great idea. Anytime we can get extra money into the economy especially Halifax right now,” said Mahoney.
“It’s good for the city. It may be $6 million we taxpayers don’t need to take on.”
Halifax already has the Emera Oval, the outdoor rink maintained by the power company.
The report to council recommends city hall start scouting for a company willing to put up $500,000 a year starting next fall.