BY RYAN WELLICOME
The City of Lacombe announced two new major sponsors of the Lacombe arena and Lacombe curling rink on Tuesday.
Can Pak Environmental Inc. and Freightliner of Red Deer have become major naming rights sponsors for the Lacombe arena and curling rink, respectively.
“We are very pleased to have (them) on board,” said Lacombe Mayor Steve Christie. “We deal with them everyday. We have existing partnerships so we are just so happy that they chose to invest their funds in this way.”
The announcement comes after the major renovations of the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex (formerly the Lacombe Sports and Leisure Complex) and the announcement of the Gary Moe Auto Group becoming the complex’s chief sponsor and naming rights holder.
“It’s quite an honour,” said Owner and President of Can Pak Environmental Inc. Mark Pedersen. “Who would ever have thought that we would be building a company that we could even be able to do something like this.
“It’s always been our goal not to just give back but to be part of the community,” said Pedersen. “For all of our staff and family, it’s a pretty impressive day for us.”
Can Pak Environmental Inc. retains exclusive naming rights for the arena complex, now named the Can Pak Environmental Ice Complex, for an initial 10-year term and will have advertising signage at both entrances.
“To have our name up there, in the town of Lacombe, is pretty special,” said Don Patterson, president and CEO of Freightliner of Red Deer. “It was our opportunity to give back to the community that got me where I am today,” he said.
Patterson expressed that he was a fan of the new name and logo design.
“When they first brought it to me to see what I thought, I thought it was pretty impressive and seeing it here today is really great,” he said.
Freightliner of Red Deer will retain exclusive naming rights to the renamed Freightliner of Red Deer Curling Complex for a 10-year term with advertising at entryways.
Christie explained that obtaining sponsorship for a facility under renovation is not without its challenges.
“A renovation is a whole lot more difficult to get sponsors than with a brand new building,” he said. “Lacombe maintains our facilities very well. (The arena and curling rink) were built very well, when they were built, so to add on to them, keep them going (and) put more life into them just seems to make more sense than spending the money on new buildings.”
But, Christie said that the regional importance of the sportsplex as a recreational hub and its significance to families, contributes to the commercial interest seen within the region.
“Thousands of people come through there on an annual basis. It creates memories, it creates healthy kids, it creates competition and it’s something that people are drawn to.”
He also cited the recent relocation of the Lacombe Generals as a factor in increasing the sportsplex’s appeal.
“With the addition of the Lacombe Generals it’ll just bring that many more people in.”
In addition, the mayor briefly hinted at possible future sponsorship announcements.
“There might be a few coming up and I can’t spill the beans yet but we’ve had huge success,” he said.
He spoke, briefly, to the seemingly sizeable number of businesses that wish to work with the City of Lacombe and be part of the community through sponsorship and outreach, in all forms.
“I think it is part of the everyday partnership. We deal with a lot of businesses as a City, we spend a lot of money as a City and for them to give back to our community, it just enhances those relationships and I think it builds on them.”
The building renovations include safety improvements in order to meet current building code standards, main lobby renovations and new additional dressing rooms and barrier-free washrooms.
A highlight of the renovation is the addition of a dedicated dressing room for the newly-relocated Lacombe Generals of the Chinook Hockey League.
Renovations to the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex began in April and are scheduled for a summer 2017 wrap-up.