Huge signs didn't ruin BC Place renaming deal: Telus
Published Tuesday, March 13, 2012 4:40PM PDT
Telus was ready to negotiate the size of its corporate branding on BC Place stadium when the government pulled the plug on a massive renaming deal, according a source at the telecommunications giant.
On Monday, Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Minister Pat Bell reportedly blamed the deal's failure on Telus pushing for illuminated "Telus Park" signs almost 10 feet taller than the agreed upon size limit.
But a Telus spokesperson insists the signage, which would have appeared multiple times along the base of the stadium's retractable roof, was never a sticking point. The source says the company even would have agreed to a smaller sign without reducing the sponsorship amount.
Telus was prepared to pay $1.75 million a year for naming rights to the stadium before the deal fell through.
Just last week, the government said it had decided to nix the renaming in order to retain the iconic BC Place moniker, and because the deal wasn't a great enough benefit to taxpayers.
On Tuesday, Bell said that he and Finance Minister Kevin Falcon simply felt "it was time to move on."
"We've got a billion-dollar deal with Telus. We want to make that work in their favour and the province of British Columbia's favour. It's not worth arguing over a small deal like this," Bell said.
Telus is still working out a massive technology deal with PavCo, the building operator.
Though there were initially about 20 different companies vying for naming rights, Bell said it would be inappropriate to award the deal to another company after negotiating for years with Telus.
"We'll move on and sell individual advertising rights within the stadium and pursue the revenue opportunities that way," Bell said.
The Telus source also said the size of the exterior signage wasn't the only aspect contested. The government had proposed a neon sign, but Telus said it wanted a stainless steel sign that was backlit.
The company released a rendered image of its sign proposal to CTV depicting a large glowing flower next to the Telus Park name.
BC Place opened in 1983, becoming a landmark on the Vancouver skyline. The inflatable dome roof was renovated last year to the tune of $400 million.
With files from The Canadian Press