Raptors News

Air Canada Centre officially becomes Scotiabank Arena

Cool, I guess?

The Air Canada Centre is no more.

In a move announced back in August, the home of the Toronto Raptors is now named Scotiabank Arena.

The re-naming ends a 19-year run for the ACC and comes at a hefty reported price tag for Scotiabank, who will have to be patient as fans and media transition to calling the venue by its new, proper name. The ACC has a lot of brand built into it despite the relative lack of success of the teams playing there compared to, say, SkyDome before it became Rogers Centre, and it will take time and perhaps coercing to shift what the general public refers to it as. Scotiabank did pay a reported $800 million over 20 years for the rights – a near 1000-percent increase in annual naming rights value – and maybe that extra income stream will help facilitate greater success for its tenants. I’m trying to be optimistic about a largely meaningful but moderately inconvenient sentimental change, clearly.

The Air Canada Centre signage was being removed earlier Saturday.

“For the past 18 years, Air Canada Centre has not only been home to the Maple Leafs and Raptors, it has also hosted hundreds of the most popular concerts and events in the industry, helping contribute to Toronto’s well-deserved reputation as one of the top sports and entertainment destinations in the world,” MLSE chairman Larry Tanenbaum said in an August release. “We are grateful to Scotiabank for their continued support and this expanded partnership as we look ahead to what we expect to be 20 of the most exciting years in Toronto sports and entertainment history.”

Scotiabank will also remain the official banking partner of the Leafs, per a release, and Scotiabank will expand its partnership with MLSE Foundation. The two sides intend to collaborate with SCENE on some promotions, as well, and there are plans for an MLSE Incubator at the Scotiabank Digital Factory.

There’s not a lot to sort through here, really. It’s a corporate shift from one branded partnership to another, and a very lucrative one. This is simply a matter of C.R.E.A.M., with the small cost of all of us having to remember to make the written and verbal adjustment by the time the 2018-19 season rolls around.

By the way, the first event on the schedule for the newly named arena is a GOT7 concert on Tuesday. Not exactly The Tragically Hip, who were the first concert at the ACC in 1999, but to each their own (the first actual event their was Leafs-Canadiens).

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