Sudbury·Audio

Sudbury city councillors see big dollars from selling ads at sport fields, city buildings

Sudbury city councillors want advertisers to know that city space is for sale.

"I really think that the businesses will come to you"

Ward 5 Greater Sudbury city councillor Robert Kirwan wants the city to open up more Sudbury properties to ads. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)
Is selling space to advertisers a good way for a city to make money? Greater Sudbury is going that way, with councillors hoping to see ads in swimming pools, on ski hills, in libraries and other spaces. We have some highlights from that discussion. 4:58
Sudbury city councillors want advertisers to know that city space is for sale.

Staff presented a plan to generate more ad revenue at Monday night's community services committee meeting, after council gave them a target of $250,000 in annual profit during budget deliberations earlier this year.

Staff suggested trying out some banners on the fences at the James Jerome sports complex for maybe as much as $3,000, including the $500 cost of printing the ads, and then spreading the program to other city properties.

But most city councillors, like Robert Kirwan from Ward 5, urged them to open up more city properties to ads.

"Because I really think that the businesses will come to you with the idea of where they prefer to advertise and how they prefer to advertise and it's up to you to determine what the costs are going to be," Kirwan said.

Ward 4 councillor Evelyn Dutrisac thought inside ads could work at community halls rented out for parties, as well inside public libraries, although she did say she wouldn't want an ad on "every wall."

Ski hills, rink boards and swimming pool walls were also mentioned as possible ad space. Staff also suggested that corporate sponsorship could be sold 

Ward 8 city councillor Al Sizer, a former city manager, was the lone voice wondering about city employees spending their time selling ads and putting up banners, instead of doing their regular work in the parks department.

"I just have some concerns about some of those hidden costs that are going to be involved in that. But I wish you luck," said Sizer.

Staff will report back on their progress selling ads during the next round of budget deliberations, early in the new year.

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