Government seeks corporate sponsor to put brand on BC Place Stadium

Initiative comes seven years after the B.C. government rejected Telus’s $40-million proposal

B.C. Place Stadium's new roof cost taxpayers $563 million | Chung Chow

BC Place Stadium could be rebranded with the name of a corporate sponsor in exchange for tens of millions of dollars that would fund government programs, the B.C. government announced February 4.

This latest initiative comes nearly seven years after the province rejected an offer by Telus Corp. to provide a reported $40 million for naming rights on the stadium over a 20-year time frame.

Then Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Minister Pat Bell said he did not think the offer was a good deal for taxpayers, and that B.C. residents like the name the way it is.

B.C.’s new NDP government, and Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Lisa Beare, however, are now keen to find a corporate sponsor for the venue.

Her government has given B.C. Pavilion Corporation (PavCo) approval to issue a request for proposals to select a naming-rights sponsor for BC Place Stadium. PavCo will likely hear presentations in March, shortlist potential winners by June, and name the winner in July.

The naming rights would help PavCo offset operational costs. The Crown corporation is budgeting to generate $116,413,000 in revenue in the 2019-20 fiscal year. It is also projecting that it will have a $6,142,000 deficit.

“This naming rights sponsorship opportunity will make more funds available for government to improve the services that British Columbians count on,” Beare said in a release.

“We believe this is an excellent time to look for the right corporate partner for this important facility in B.C., and through that sponsorship, generate significant benefit for British Columbians.”

The B.C. government expects PavCo to manage the process in consultation and with appropriate approvals from the government.

BC Place first opened in 1983 and it has a maximum seating capacity of about 54,500. It is home to the B.C. Lions and the Vancouver Whitecaps, and hosts concerts and trade shows.