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MLSE agrees to record arena rights deal with Scotiabank

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Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment has agreed to a landmark 20-year sponsorship agreement with Scotiabank to rename the Air Canada Centre, TSN has learned.

The agreement is worth about $800 million (Canadian), according to three sources familiar with the matter. Under MLSE’s previous agreement with Air Canada, struck in 1999, the airline paid about $4 million per year.

The agreement with Scotiabank, which will see the downtown Toronto arena renamed the Scotiabank Arena next July 1, is believed to be the highest-priced annual building and team sponsorship in North American sports history.

David Hopkinson, MLSE’s chief commercial officer, said in an interview that he received serious offers for the arena naming rights from eight companies.

“To be honest, it wasn’t that difficult to find interested suitors,” Hopkinson said. “This is already firmly established as Canada’s premier entertainment venue… We felt we had a very good sense about what the market would bear and Scotia and ourselves have agreed on what that number should look like.”

Arena naming rights have become a major revenue source for pro sports teams. Financial services companies such as Scotiabank, in pursuit of new young consumers, have become prime buyers.

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Article written by Rick Westhead, TSN Senior Correspondent

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Written by Paige McConney
Paige McConney

September 5th, 2017 at 10:22 am