Saturday, January 11, 2014
By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, January 11, 2013
Global Spectrum wants to sell Copps Coliseum name
Global Spectrum wants to change the name of Copps Coliseum to help turn around the fortunes of the money-losing venue.
The city turned over management of Copps and Hamilton Place to the partnership of Global Spectrum and Live Nation last year. The move was designed to end millions in public subsidies needed to keep the aging entertainment venues afloat.
Scott Warren, the new GM for the facilities, has submitted a request to seek council approval for naming rights at the Jan. 15 general issues committee meeting. He asks for a closed-door discussion “so this is not made public.”
Global Spectrum spokesperson Ike Richman said the company isn’t looking to end the building’s association with beloved former mayor Victor Copps, one of the city’s best-known political names.
Richman said the company won’t comment on the bid, amount of cash involved or any potential sponsor ahead of the meeting. “But if it does take effect, the Copps family name will be incorporated into the plan,” he said.
Global Spectrum has the contractual right to seek out sponsors for the nearly 30-year-old hockey venue, said Mayor Bob Bratina Thursday — but council has veto power.
“There’s no question about the iconic nature of Victor Copps’ name … the family is important to Hamiltonians,” he said.
Bratina added while “aspects” of the naming rights discussion may have to happen in camera, he said a name change won’t be signed and sealed without a public discussion.
Past efforts to rename Copps Coliseum have usually met with pushback from the community and, occasionally, one of Hamilton’s most famous political families.
When the city first pitched a name-sale in 2001, Copps’ widow and former city alderman Geraldine Copps called the idea a “terrible insult to Vic.” (Source: Hamilton Spectator)