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)
By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator, Thursday August 16, 2012
There have been secret talks about local casino
City staff say there’s “interest” brewing about building a casino in Hamilton — but not even council is allowed to know who’s behind it.
Tim McCabe, the city’s director of economic development and planning, said he has had “absolutely confidential” discussions about a new gambling facility in the city.
“I have had some discussions through a third party, and there is some interest in Hamilton,” McCabe said.
McCabe’s comments came about after Councillor Sam Merulla put forward a motion asking for a moratorium on any new gaming facility in the city until the public can vote in a referendum on the issue during the 2014 municipal election.
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation announced a massive “modernization” earlier this year that includes plans for one casino in the Hamilton/Burlington area. It’s still not clear whether that means Flamboro Downs will remain open — council’s preference — or whether a new facility will be built.
Though Merulla’s argued that locating a new casino in the city would be as contentious as the Pan Am stadium debate, McCabe warned councillors that passing Merulla’s motion could potentially cut the city off from millions of dollars’ worth of investment. Councillors were divided about whether or not to approve the referendum.
Councillor Judi Partridge said the city’s role is “not to roll over or chase an elusive carrot” and criticized the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, arguing the city has “a chance to say no, and to be in the driver’s seat.”
Mayor Bob Bratina argued that the city should be open to all possibilities.(Source: Hamilton Spectator)