The Edmonton Oilers‘ “big announcement” on their planned new arena has been announced, and it is:
Rogers Communications has now acquired the naming rights for Edmonton’s future downtown arena.
Calling it a “moment of pleasure and joy for everyone involved,” Edmonton Oilers president Patrick LaForge told a Tuesday news conference the naming rights agreement moves the $480-million arena in downtown Edmonton “closer to reality.”
Hey, I guessed it!
How much the Canadian TV giant will pay to name the as-yet-nonexistent hockey venue “Rogers Place” — not to be confused with Rogers Centre and Rogers Arena — is unknown: Even Edmonton Mayor Don Iverson said he doesn’t know the dollar figure. In fact, it may be unknowable without fancy accounting tricks, as the naming-rights deal is just an expansion of Rogers’ sponsorship deal for the Oilers’ TV broadcasts, website, and mobile app.
Not that any of this matters much, since according to the Oilers’ deal with Edmonton, all naming-rights money goes into the pocket of team owner Daryl Katz, who’s already said he’s spending as much as he’s gonna towards the $676 million arena project. That means the $50-130 million funding hole is still empty. So the arena is only “closer to reality” in the sense that there’s now a corporate name to put on the renderings — which is kind of a shame, as I was looking forward to pictures of the Your Brand Here Centre.