Next stop ... the Coca-Cola C-Train station? Why Calgary Transit may sell naming rights
New ways sought to generate revenue rather than raise fares or taxes
Calgary Transit is looking at selling naming rights to its properties, but that doesn't mean you won't know where to get off the train.
Stations would still be named for their location, according to Coun. Shane Keating, who chairs the city's transportation committee.
"We will never get rid of the actual names of the stations, you know, like Canyon Meadows, he told the Calgary Eyeopener. "But … it might be the Canyon Meadows Coca-Cola Station."
Keating, councillor for Ward 12, says it's something the city has to consider.
"They're trying to increase non-fare revenue so that the split between tax base and fair revenue stays at around 50/50," he said. "Trying to make sure that we don't place the burden on the taxpayer … but on other ways of gaining revenue."
Keating said naming rights have generated revenue in other municipalities and even here in Calgary.
"You know, we've seen even the Saddledome change its name over time. The difference there is the name is in front and then Saddledome is in behind. We want to make sure that that's not the case here," he said.
"A station is a station and it will stay that station. There might be branding at the station by the naming rights person. So as long as it's done with professionalism, I think it's a great possibility."
When the new Green Line opens, there is potential to name the new stations. Keating says the city could possibly get between a few hundred thousand to a few million dollars, depending on the property. That's why the city has a request for proposal (RFP) out for "an individual who specializes in branding and selling naming rights" to spearhead the campaign.
"There is a formula, and the ability to determine what the value is of each of the amenities, and I think that's what this individual will do,. And then we will go out and see whether it's actually something that people are interested in," Keating said.
"You still have to have that branding and that very strong knowledge so that you're not wondering which station it is, at this point in time. But there is the possibility of getting revenue. And we have done that with the rec centres and a number of other amenities, and we've looked at the possibility of many of these across the city that could be used for naming rights."
Keating said it would be a priority to maintain balance in both revenues and branding.
"I wouldn't say that absolutely everything could be named, but we should assess and see what's out there," he said.
"The rec centres, for example, that are named after businesses, that made sense because those businesses were prominent in those areas, and we can see where we can go from there — looking at it for revenue generation but not looking at it for a cash cow."
With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.