Sanford Health buys naming rights to Bemidji Regional Event Center
The Bemidji Regional Event Center will soon change names. Sanford Health and the city of Bemidji have come to agree on the terms of an agreement through which the city will receive $2 million over 10 years and the new Bemidji Regional Event Cente...
The Bemidji Regional Event Center will soon change names.
Sanford Health and the city of Bemidji have come to agree on the terms of an agreement through which the city will receive $2 million over 10 years and the new Bemidji Regional Event Center will become The Sanford Center. The change would be in name only; the facility would continue to operate as a multiuse event center and the anchor tenant still would be Bemidji State University hockey.
"We're very thrilled to have the opportunity to support, through this gift, the area's event center," said Warren Larson of Sanford Health.
Larson was at the Bemidji City Council meeting Monday night as John Chattin, city manager, released a plan through which the city and Sanford Health would partner on the now-named BREC. The Bemidji City council voted 7-0 to agree to the terms. A final contract will be submitted to the council for adoption when it is ready.
"We approached Sanford about this opportunity and we are very thankful for their willingness to partner with us," Mayor Richard Lehmann said in a press release. "This new event center is really a source of community pride and economic development for this whole region."
Selling of the naming rights has been expected throughout the last couple of years, but discussion and negotiation heated up in recent months.
The $2 million from Sanford Health certainly would work to offset the expected operations deficit predicted at the facility. The council for 2011 has budgeted $300,000 toward the expected operations deficit at the center. The $2 million, spread out over 10 years and nine months, would equal a $200,000 payment each year. The first payment is expected in November.
"Having Sanford step up to support us is incredible," Lehmann said in the release. "The level of enthusiasm and commitment from Sanford has been remarkable."
The deal means that Sanford would have exterior signage rights and get an exclusive suite designated for the naming rights partner. The event center logo would incorporate Sanford's name, which also will be used on correspondence, uniforms (staff), tickets, website and advertising.
"It is going to be a hub for social, cultural, recreational and educational events," Larson said of the center. "It really is a wonderful, wonderful opportunity for our community."
Recognition of the partnership is expected during the Bemidji State University men's hockey game Oct. 29 against University of Minnesota-Duluth. The final contract is expected to be approved by then.
Sanford Health will have the opportunity to extend the contract five years.
"This event center is a game-changer for this entire region from an economic development standpoint. It's exciting to be involved," said Dan Olson, vice president of Sanford Clinic Bemidji, in a press release. "At Sanford, we are proud to take an active role in our communities. Because we care about the health and wellness of every citizen, we are motivated to contribute to the strength and vibrancy for our communities."
Chattin also thanked staff with VenuWorks, which is the firm that manages the facility, for its work on the naming rights agreement.
"Without them, we probably wouldn't be sitting here enjoying the fruits of that agreement," he said.
The agreement also is being reviewed by the city's bond counsel and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
The Bemidji Pioneer and the Herald are both Forum Communications Co. newspapers.