Toronto's Air Canada Centre To Be Renamed Scotiabank Arena

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An exterior shot of the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada on May 24, 2002.  

The venue was recently ranked No. 1 on Billboard’s top 10 Canadian venues with $43.6 million in ticket sales.

Toronto’s Air Canada Centre, recently ranked No. 1 on Billboard’s  top 10 Canadian venues with $43.6 million in ticket sales for the reporting period, will be renamed Scotiabank Arena in July 2018, Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) announced in a press release today.

In August alone the 19,800-capacity venue has hosted shows by Bruno Mars, Kendrick Lamar, Shawn Mendes, Hans Zimmer, Earth Wind & Fire, and Lionel Richie with Mariah Carey.

“For the past 18 years, Air Canada Centre has not only been home to the Maple Leafs and Raptors, it has also hosted hundreds of the most popular concerts and events in the industry, helping contribute to Toronto’s well-deserved reputation as one of the top sports and entertainment destinations in the world,” Larry Tanenbaum, Chairman of the Board for MLSE, said in a statement.

“We are grateful to Scotiabank for their continued support and this expanded partnership as we look ahead to what we expect to be 20 of the most exciting years in Toronto sports and entertainment history.”

Sources close to the deal tell Billboard the financial institution paid $800M CAD ($639M USD) for the rights.

The 20-year partnership includes new philanthropic opportunities with the MLSE Foundation, and a digital collaboration between MLSE and the Scotiabank Digital Factory. 

“We have always sought new and innovative partnerships with the goal of building strong and enduring communities,” said Scotiabank president and CEO Brian Porter in a statement. “Today’s announcement is an extension of Scotiabank’s unwavering love of sports and our commitment to help young people reach their full potential. We believe that MLSE is an ideal partner for Scotiabank to reach our objectives.”

Since the venue opened in February, 1999, Air Canada Centre has hosted more than 50 million fans over 3,500 events, according to the release, including the 2016 NBA All Star Weekend, the 2016 World Cup of Hockey and many of the world’s top drawing live music acts, such as U2, the Rolling Stones, Coldplay, Bruce Springsteen, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, and Drake.

As part of the naming rights transfer, MLSE and Air Canada reached an agreement on a long-term renewal to continue as the official airline partner of the Maple Leafs and Raptors.

“As Canada’s flag carrier and North America’s Best Airline as ranked by the Skytrax World Airline Awards, we are proud to continue our partnership with MLSE as the Official Airline of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors,” said Benjamin Smith, president, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada.

“We congratulate MLSE and Scotiabank as they build on the legacy we helped establish in 1999 and look forward to celebrating with fans and customers during our final season as title sponsor of the Air Canada Centre. Air Canada supports professional and amateur sports throughout Canada and our global hub in Toronto connects that city to the world, driving both the economy and communities.”

“MLSE is extremely grateful to Air Canada for their support as a founding partner of the Raptors and Air Canada Centre and we look forward to our continued partnership,” added Tanenbaum.