It may be the way of the world, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it. We’re talking about the widely accepted practice of naming sports venues after corporate sponsors, who then benefit from spin-offs in advertising references to the facility.
These deals can be lucrative – which is why they are so attractive to communities. A corporate name on a building can mean money in the bank to help cover the expense of constructing facilities or off-setting operating costs. No doubt the deal between the city and Sun Country Cablevision contributed to lower costs to the taxpayer. From opening day up until 2020, the naming rights on our twin-sheet arena are worth $815,000. And, as corporate names go, the Sunwave Centre was a pretty good one. But now we run into a situation also seen in other cities. Business owners change or sponsorships aren’t renewed and therefore the names on these buildings are switched from one corporation to another.
The Shaw Centre simply doesn’t have the same ring or connection to the Shuswap as the Sunwave Centre. And now, the move inspires a whole lot of confusion as people are forced to adapt.
We understand why the change, and we agree that reducing costs to the taxpayer is important. But there is an emotional attachment that develops between a community and the places where we spend our time in fun and recreation. Our old arena was named to honour the memory of those who served our country, not to serve the purposes of a company. While we know these deals have their advantages, we can’t help but wish we didn’t need to sell the names of our public buildings.