The Halifax Metro Centre is getting a new name – and with it, new seating, new bathrooms, new ice, and new concession facilities.
Scotiabank has been revealed as the Metro Centre’s new title sponsor, which means the facility will be known as the Scotiabank Centre once the deal is finalized this fall.
Although the bank – which was founded in Halifax 180 years ago – has sponsored other Canadian rinks, the Atlantic region senior vice-president said this deal is different.
“This is more about reinvesting in the community itself in terms of something that’s owned by the municipality and isn’t dedicated to one particular event,” said Craig Thompson.
The most significant “corporate partnership” in the Metro Centre’s history will pay $650,000 per year with a three per cent escalator for a total payout of more than $7 million over 10 years.
“This partnership will allow us to build on the legacy shaped over 35 years,” said Mayor Mike Savage. “Thanks to Scotiabank, we’ll be able to update key areas of this facility and make your experience at Metro Centre even better than it is today.”
Ferguson said Metro Centre users identified the seating, concession area and washrooms as areas most in need of upgrades.
“We’re going to see a facelift for the Metro Centre,” he said. “We’re very, very excited about the improvements.”
Ferguson said the three-year upgrade plan – which will cost roughly $5.7 million – will begin with the expansion of the concession area this fall. Replacing the seats with the “most modern, most comfortable” seats on the market will be done in phases starting next summer.
HRM issued a request for proposals last November. The financial contribution made up 60 per cent of the final score, but “community fit” and financial sustainability were also considered.
“Scotiabank hit it out of the park … and came out top in every one of those categories,” said Ferguson.
A new sign will go up on the Metro Centre this fall – but Thompson acknowledged it will take the public “a while” to get used to the new name.
“You’ll see it on ticket stubs, you’ll see it with the ushers and their aprons, you’ll see the signage,” he said. “So we’re confident that over a period of time, it’ll be second nature to call it the Scotiabank Centre.”