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Sault event centre undergoing name change

Facility will become GFL Memorial Gardens during phased rollout
Essar Centre
Sault Ste. Marie’s Essar Centre is undergoing a name change, starting Aug. 1, after GFL Environmental Inc. won the naming rights for the sports and entertainment facility last spring. (File photo)

Sault Ste. Marie’s event centre is undergoing a name change.

Starting Aug. 1, the city will start rolling out changes to reflect the facility’s new sponsor: GFL Memorial Gardens.

Green for Life (GFL) Environmental Inc. won the naming rights to the city’s sports and entertainment facility back in May. The city advertised for new sponsorship after the expiration of the previous sponsorship agreement with Essar Steel Algoma (now Algoma).

“Having naming rights means more than a traditional corporate sponsorship. Naming rights provide a valuable opportunity to create a positive association with the City of Sault Ste. Marie through marketing, advertising, hospitality, website and promotional materials,” said Brent Lamming, the city's director of community services, in an Aug. 1 news release.

“GFL will have the opportunity to gain local, provincial and national exposure and we are excited to begin this process with our new partners.” 

According to the terms of the agreement, GFL will pay the city $75,000 annually, over the course of 10 years, in exchange for naming rights. The city said the fees for the first year has already been paid.

In return, GFL will grant the city a 50 per cent discount on all waste and recycling containers.

“For GFL, this is about a sustained community investment and a long-term, continued relationship with the municipality,” said GFL’s Chris Dovigi in the release.

“GFL has deep roots in Sault Ste. Marie, and we are excited to demonstrate our commitment to our local community like we have done since 2012.”

GFL Environmental was launched in 2007 by Patrick Dovigi, a former NHL hockey player who grew up in Sault Ste. Marie.

New signs and branding will appear at the facility over the coming weeks, including an illuminated sign erected at the front entrance, the GFL name and logo featured at centre ice, the GFL name on Soo Greyhound publications and tickets, rink board advertisements featuring GFL, and luxury suite branding.

A formal unveiling ceremony lead by GFL will take place at a later date.

GFL Environmental collects, disposes of and diverts non-hazardous solid and liquid waste, and additionally offers soil remediation services, including excavation, demolition, soil retention, foundations installation, and specialty infrastructure project services.