Nova Scotia

Halifax oval naming talks underway

Negotiations continue on what to name the Halifax skating oval, but questions have already been raised about advertising by beer companies.
The Canada Winter Games oval was popular with residents. (CBC)

Negotiations continue on what to name the Halifax skating oval.

Regional council will hear recommendations from staff at a private session later this month.

Dr. John Gillis, spokesman for Save the Oval, wouldn't be surprised if there was more than one name.

"I think what you'll see is one group may get naming rights on one part of the project and the other will get naming rights on a different part," Gillis told CBC News.

Council agreed to spend $4 million this year to build the oval on the Halifax Common, and $400,000 to run it.

The decision was made in March, after Emera pledged $500,000 and Molson Coors promised $400,000 in support of the Canada Winter Games oval that was so popular with residents.

Coun. Gloria McCluskey has already voiced her concerns about advertising by alcohol companies.

"Those of us who are here today are not in favour of Molson being the sponsor for the oval," she said at a recent conference.

Gillis doesn't share her view. He points out that advertising for Moosehead beer is displayed at the municipally owned Halifax Metro Centre.

"What I support is a facility that's going to bring year-round physical activity and community spirit in the context of something that our laws permit," Gillis said. "We certainly support Molson's involvement."

The skating oval is expected to be ready by Christmas.