UPDATE: Rogers snaps up naming rights to Edmonton’s downtown arena

Edmonton's new downtown arena will be called Rogers Place. Supplied, Rogers Communications

EDMONTON – Rogers Communications has purchased the naming rights for the future home of the Edmonton Oilers.

Rogers said in a release Tuesday that the downtown arena, which is set to open in 2016, will be named Rogers Place.

“This is a great day for Edmonton’s downtown and our city,” said Mayor Don Iveson. “Rogers Place will become a beacon in our downtown, one that will foster a new sense of energy that will further attract development and investment in the heart of our city.”

The amount Rogers paid for the naming rights and the length of the deal have not been made public.

“Oil Country is very proud to have Rogers Place, sure to be Canada’s most iconic new arena, as our team’s future home in 2016,” added Patrick LaForge, president and chief operating officer of the Edmonton Oilers. “Rogers Place will serve as a catalyst for the next era of corporate investment in world class entertainment in downtown Edmonton.”

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Iveson and LaForge were joined by officials from Rogers for the official announcement at Startup Edmonton in the Mercer Warehouse downtown.

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson congratulates the Rexall Sports Corporation, the Edmonton Oilers and Rogers Communications on the arena naming rights. Dec. 3, 2013. Vinesh Pratap, Global News

“Today’s announcement builds on our long-term commitment to the Edmonton Oilers, its hockey fans and our investment in Alberta,” said John Boynton, executive vice president and chief marketing officer with Rogers Communications. “Rogers Place will be one of the most technologically enabled stadiums in North America.”

“Today’s announcement helps make the new arena a reality and underscores its potential to make downtown Edmonton a magnet for our community and for new investment by world-class companies like Rogers,” said Daryl Katz, Founder of Rexall Sports Corporation, in a news release. “I want to thank Rogers, our fans, the City of Edmonton and our many community partners for their support as we move ahead with what we believe will be a transformational development for our city.”

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Even before the official announcement, many on social media were sharing their thoughts on the naming rights deal.

Last week, Rogers Communications struck a multi-billion dollar deal with the National Hockey League for the right to broadcast NHL games in Canada.

The 12 year deal is worth $5.2 billion and would see Rogers get national rights to all NHL games, including the Stanley Cup playoffs and Stanley Cup finals.

Rogers has become a major player on the Canadian sports scene in the last decade.

It owns baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays and with rival Bell is part owner of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which counts the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, NBA’s Toronto Raptors and MLS’s Toronto FC among its properties.

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Rogers already has naming rights for two other major sports venues. The Blue Jays and CFL’s Toronto Argonauts play at the Rogers Centre, while the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks call Rogers Arena home.

With files from The Canadian Press

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