Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) said in a statement Tuesday afternoon that the company has signed a 20-year naming rights agreement with Scotiabank. The change of name for the venue at Bay Street and Lakeshore Boulevard West will occur in July.
The statement said, as a part of transferring the naming rights next year, Air Canada will still be involved as the “official airline partner” for the Maple Leafs and Raptors.
MLSE also said Scotiabank will also be involved with the company’s charitable organization, MLSE Foundation.
Branding expert Tony Chapman said it’s a “great” move on the part of Scotiabank.
“In this age and noise, getting your name at the epicentre in one of the most exciting cities in the world, that’ll get you noticed,” he said, adding Scotiabank has been involved with hockey
“If the Leafs go after the Stanley Cup and were to win it, the sponsorship would be priceless.”
WATCH: Behind-the-scenes look at how the Air Canada Centre converts from a basketball court to an ice rink
The building, also referred to as the ACC by fans and visitors, opened in February 1999. MLSE said since the venue opened, more than 50 million people have attended over 3,500 events. The venue is also used for major concerts and by the Toronto Rock lacrosse team.
Reaction to the name change was swift on social media with many questioning the name change.
With files from Ashley Molnar and The Canadian Press