Telus and the B.C. Pavillion Corp. had an ongoing proposition to remove the BC Place Stadium name, one that has been with the stadium for nearly 30 years, and change it to Telus Park. In order for the name to change, the provincial cabinet needs to approve of the renaming of the building, regardless of the two year negotiations between Telus and PavCo.
According to Pat Bell, minister of jobs, tourism and innovation, the government felt that the iconic stadium should keep it’s name and integrity that it was born with, and wasn’t in favour of Telus’ demand that the public not refer to the stadium as BC Place once the name change was finalized. Telus’ $40-million would have contributed to the $563-million price tag of the recent BC Place renovations, however Premier Christy Clark and Finance Minister Kevin Falcon said that the deal isn’t in our taxpayers best interests.
According to Bell, PavCo can now sell advertising sponsorships on the inside of the building which he thinks could accumulate to more than $40-million over the same 20 year span of 2-million per year, that Telus was proposing. Telus was anticipating that Telus Park would have a nature feel to it, promoting the slogan “Super, Natural British Columbia” matching that of it’s well-known nature image. Telus had even spent millions of dollars on external signage that was to be mounted on the outside of the stadium, so of course Telus is devastated that the name change was shot down.
Telus president and CEO Darren Entwistle shared his thoughts on the decision, stating that he is unhappy but accepts the decision that cabinet has chosen to make. Entwistle also states that they will focus on operationalizing their unparalleled $3-billion investment in the province and the welfare of its citizens.
New Democratic Party leader Adrian Dix was highly critical of the government’s way of handling the negotiations. Dix goes on to mention the government clearly was engaged in the process, then all of a sudden they change their mind, and calls it pure Liberal incompetence.
The sudden change of heart on behalf of cabinet is out of PavCo and Telus’ control, all they can do now is branch their attention in other directions.