Mayor Dean Fortin

Ten more years for Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre

RG Properties signs naming rights extension for estimated $900,000.

The timing was right as Save-On-Foods announced a 10 year extension for the naming rights to the city owned Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, home of the Western Hockey League Victoria Royals.

Save-On-Foods recently expanded from two to six stores across Greater Victoria.

RG Properties built the 7,000-seat rink in 2004, when they signed the original naming rights deal that has now been continued, at a believed cost of $900,000.

The City of Victoria receives a 10 per cent portion of that, a total of $90,000 (interest free) over the 10 year span.

For RG Properties, it’s a drop from the previous deal which was reported at $1.25 million, or $125,000 annually, to $90,000 annually.

The City of Victoria also receives a cut of each ticket, and is reporting $6,000,000 revenue since the building opened in 2005. It’s twice hosted the world curling championships, as well as the national figure skating championships, the WHL Super Series vs. Russia, a U.S.A. vs. Canada women’s international, and concerts by Rod Stewart, Cher, Elton John and Prince.

“It’s about doing the right thing for the community, and the Island, where people can come together for common purposes, whether its a concert or hockey,” said Darrell Jones, president of the Overwaitea Food Group that own Save-On-Foods. “We’re excited about the expansion to six stores in the region but we signed this when we had two stores here.”

The Memorial Cup was on stage for the press conference though the Victoria Royals’ pulled its bid to host the 2016 Memorial Cup tournament earlier this last month. The iconic trophy visited the arena Friday for the Royals’ home opener against the Kamloops Blazers.

This month is also the 10 year anniversary of the Victoria Salmon Kings debut, which was surrounded in controversy. With the construction of Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre behind schedule, RG Properties announced the Salmon Kings would start the season in the 2,300-seat Q Centre (Bear Mountain Arena). Only glitch was it had 3,000 season ticket holders.

The arena and its key tenant (Salmon Kings/Royals) come a long way since then.

reporter@saanichnews.com