While it may remain so in some nostalgic hearts, Toronto’s Air Canada Centre (ACC) is no longer.
A transformative 20-year, $800-million partnership between Scotiabank and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) brought to fruition last summer became official on July 1 with the renaming of the Air Canada Centre – home of the of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors – to Scotiabank Arena.
The building at 40 Bay Street has been the ACC since it opened its doors nearly 20 years ago. If you’ve passed by the building in the last few days, you may have noticed that the former red signage has been replaced with temporary Scotiabank Arena decor. This will be swapped for an interactive video screen in the coming months, before the NHL season kicks off in October.
We’re promised that Scotiabank Arenawill be more than a name on the side of the storied building. The renaming involves an expanded partnerships with the Leafs, a new partnership between Tangerine and the Raptors, and an increased investment in the community though the MLSE Foundation. An added perk, Scotiabank will add MLSE to its SCENE loyalty program, offering reward points to members who purchase tickets for sporting events and concerts.
Renovations are now well underway. We can expect a revamp of the massive interior scoreboard, complete with a new logo, along with a makeover for the former Air Canada Club, which is now called Scotia Club. We can also expect a renovation of the main gates to improve both security and the flow of crowds before and after events.
Not surprisingly, the whole transaction is complete with a pretty steep, record-setting price tag. Under its terms, Scotiabank will pay $40 million per year.
While the name change will come as an adjustment to many, it’s a small price to pay for the promise of a better, forward-thinking fan experience. In the meantime, you can relive the memories of the former ACC – from the most epic games it hosted to the most memorable concert moments made inside its walls – by following the hashtag #ACCForever.
For those willing to embrace the change, the hashtag #ScotiaArena will offer an update on all the building’s happenings.