Public can have a say in Pepsi Centre renaming

Diane Crocker dcrocker@thewesternstar.com
Published on April 8, 2014
Corner Brook Coun. Tony Buckle, left, hands the recycling report to Coun. Josh Carey during the Monday, April 7, 2014 city council meeting.
Geraldine Brophy

It’s Bernd Staeben’s hope that people will form a connection or bond with the Pepsi Centre.

Part of forming that bond will involve the centre having a new name.

“I think the challenge would be to make sure that the naming rights of that facility touches as many people by the heartstrings as possible. Because that way then I think you‘ll get that connection ... that bond that we’re looking for,” said Staeben following Monday night’s public Corner Brook city council meeting.

During the meeting, Staeben, the city’s deputy mayor, updated council on the transfer governance of the centre from Memorial University of Newfoundland to the city.

He said the working group on the transfer — consisting of himself, Mayor Charles Pender and Dale Park, director of corporate services for the city, Mary Bluechardt, vice-president of Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland and Gary Bradshaw, Grenfell’s associate vice-president (administration and finance), for Memorial — met on April 3 and decided to seek public input into the future naming of the facility.

Staeben said the naming rights contract with Browning Harvey has expired and at this point the city has not entered into a new contract for naming rights.

After the meeting he said there were no other offers received to a request for proposals on naming rights.

As for what a name for the centre should represent, Staeben said it has to be long lasting.

“I think we want to try to get some credibility back into the process, to the activities in the building and to make things happen,” he said. “And the only way you can do that is by having an attachment, whether it’s by naming rights or an emotional attachment to it.

“But as long as there’s an attachment, I think that’s what we’re looking for,” he said.

“At the end of the day, I can honestly say we’d like to have as many people using that facility that we can drag into the front door and that will solve a lot of problems,” said Staeben.

He said that’s why the city is looking at all options for use of the facility from doctors clinics to a daycare, to a restaurant and a hockey team.

“Anything there that can generate traffic.”

To suggest a name for the facility email Pepsicentrename@cornerbrook.com or mail submissions to City of Corner Brook, P.O. Box 1080, Corner Brook, NL A2H 6E1.

Suggestions will be accepted until the end of the business day on April 25 and Staeben expects a decision on the name will be made in May.

Meanwhile, Staeben said the working group has also begun looking at existing agreements and are waiting for a consultants report on the building.

The transfer of governance is tentatively set for between July 31 and Aug. 31.