Gov't hangs up on Telus over BC Place naming deal
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, March 7, 2012 4:32PM PST
The B.C. government has hung up on Telus over the idea of renaming the revitalized BC Place stadium in Vancouver.
The company had reportedly offered the government $40 million dollars for naming rights to the building, but Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Minister Pat Bell said it wasn't a good enough deal for taxpayers.
Besides, he said B.C. residents like the name the way it is.
"BC Place has been around for a long, long time. People in British Columbia are used to it, they like it, they wanted it and we think it's best if we keep it. It came down to the final principle of retaining the name BC Place," he said.
That didn't go over well with Telus president Darren Entwistle.
"We are deeply disappointed with this decision. It is regrettable. We believe Telus, our brand and our 25,000 team members and retirees across British Columbia would have been a great partner for one of the greatest sports facilities in North America," he said in a statement.
NDP leader Adrian Dix accused the Liberals of flubbing the potential deal with Telus.
"This is pure incompetence on the part of the government and they're laughing about it," Dix said, referring to laughter from the government benches in the legislature when the NDP brought up the issue.
While Telus has been denied naming rights, the company will still be associated with BC Place through a technology deal to be worked out with PavCo, the building operator.
And Bell says some of the revenue lost through the failed deal with Telus will be made up with other advertising agreements related to the stadium.
BC Place opened in 1986 in time for Expo 86 and became a landmark on the Vancouver skyline with its inflated dome roof.
Last year crews completed a $400 million-dollar renovation that added a retractable roof to the building, which plays host to the BC Lions of the CFL.