Canucks, Rogers partnership a 'strategic alliance'

HOSEA CHEUNG, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:53 PM ET

Say farewell to the Garage and hello to the Phone Booth.

Canucks Sports & Entertainment announced Rogers Communications as the new naming rights partner Tuesday, rebranding the home of the Canucks from General Motors Place to Rogers Arena.

"This is a great strategic alliance," said Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini. "It's a new day and Rogers has a lot to offer especially through the new technologies. We're really happy to move forward and I think all our fans are going to be happy as well with what we're going to be offering."

Along with extensive advertising placements throughout the arena, Rogers will also have the telecommunications sponsorship rights in the 10-year deal.

"We're hoping we can add an extra dimension to the thing and maybe put it over the top," said Phil Lind, Vice Chairman of Rogers Communications. "The team is in really great shape and maybe this year, maybe next year but soon enough, we're going to have the Stanley Cup finals right here in the Rogers Arena."

The surprising announcement comes prior to the 2015 expiration date of General Motors' original 20-year exclusive naming rights term, which they reportedly bought for $20 million.

General Motors, who have had the naming rights since 1995 when the arena first opened, will redirect their promoting to inside the arena, with rink board advertising, wall murals, and other features. They will also continue their support for the Canucks for Kids Fund Telethon.

"We worked out an agreement where we're happy and they're happy," said Aquilini.

A new Rogers Arena sign will be put up outside the building about 60 days prior to the start of the 2010-11 campaign. and more visual changes, which Aquilini calls the Rogers' experience, will be unveiled leading up to the season.

"We've got some really exciting stuff in store that's going to upgrade the building," he said, without getting into anything specific. "When the fans come for the first game, they're going to see a difference."


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