City Council to review proposal for naming rights at SSEC

Progressive Auto Sales is recommended choice of City staff

Among items on Monday’s agenda for Sarnia City Council is a request to move forward on a proposal to have a local auto dealership secure naming rights to the Sarnia Sports and Entertainment Centre.

Progressive Auto Sales is one of two organizations to respond to a public invitation that was issued in April 2016, itself a follow up on a Request for Proposal in late 2015 that received no responses.

The other proposal came from the Labourer’s International Union of North America (LiUNA).

Progressive’s bid for the naming rights was $42,500 a year for 10 years; LiUNA is proposing to pay $40,000 a year for the same 10 years.

Beyond the difference of $2,500 a year between the two proposals, Progressive is asking as part of its proposal that no advertising from competing dealers be allowed in the complex. One local dealer in particular, Lambton Ford Lincoln, has in the past played a visible role in various events at the SSEC and is “visible” at the complex.

In the City’s published terms related to naming rights, it “desires that sponsorships be primarily non-exclusive and/or include consideration of same to support programming elements at the Centre.”

Progressive suggested substitutions in lieu of a number of benefits that would go with naming rights, notably access to a suite for each Sarnia Sting game, including 12 tickets and 3 VIP parking passes. This would replace the 10 premium seats per game, 100 tickets to be used throughout the season, 1 game night per season, 10 seats in the front row for events held in the SSEC, and 2 VIP parking spaces for each event.

LiUNA requested as part of its proposal that it have access to the community suite for 5 home games and 2 other events per year.

Based on an “assumed interest rate” of 1.7%, the total value of the Progressive proposal, which includes a $40,000 payment toward signage (not included in the LiUNA proposal), is $434,415 as of May 15, 2016. The LiUNA proposal comes in at $367,231 as of May 15 (LiUNA’s first annual payment would not be made until Jan. 1, 2017).

The value associated with the contract benefits was not included in those numbers.

Under the City’s agreement with the Sarnia Sting, the naming rights fees are split evenly.

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