Essar Steel Algoma may have run up $1.6 billion in debt , with approximately $38 million of that owed to Sault Ste. Marie businesses but the naming rights for the city’s sports and entertainment centre isn’t one of them.
Essar purchased the naming rights for the city’s largest venue in 2008, at the time, it paid the $1.5 million fee in full to the city replacing the original naming rights holder, Steelback Beer.
At the time, Steelback brewery bought the naming rights for 10 years for $135,000 a year. Steelback sought creditor protection about a year later and could no longer pay for the rights. The City then had to enter into the process again, a number of companies expressed interest but Essar Steel Algoma was selected.
Similar to the Steelback agreement, a ten year deal was signed that also allowed the company a private suite in the centre. The current naming rights deal is set to expire in the Summer of 2018.