City Extends Search for Event Centre Sponsor


Sault Ste. Marie, ON (2018 04 03) – At its meeting on September 25, 2017, City Council
authorized City staff to undertake a Request for Proposal (RFP) process to secure a corporate sponsor for the naming rights for the City’s Event Centre. Presently known as the ‘Essar Centre’, the City’s 5,000 seat spectator arena and multi-use venue is owned and operated by the City and located in the heart of Sault Ste. Marie’s downtown core.

Considered Northern Ontario’s Premier Centre for Sports and Entertainment, the City began
accepting proposals in January from interested parties with the deadline of February 23, 2018.

The City is pleased to announce that it has re-issued the RFP and is extending the opportunity
to accept applications until May 4, 2018 to secure a corporate sponsor for naming rights.
“Re-issuing the RFP provides additional time for interested parties to finalize their submission
and help ensure we have the best offer for this venue,” says Tom Vair, Deputy CAO, Community Development and Enterprise Services. “We look forward to selecting a proponent and creating a valuable, positive association with the City of Sault Ste. Marie through marketing, advertising, hospitality, website and promotional opportunities.”

The successful proponent will gain local, provincial, and national exposure and will be able to
use the Event Centre name and/or logo in its advertising and promotions. The City’s Event
Centre is home to the Soo Greyhounds, many concerts, family shows, ice shows, athletic
events, conventions, trade shows and other special events. It is required that the proposed
name include the words “Memorial Gardens”, i.e., Proponent’s Name (or trademark) Memorial Gardens.

Beyond the broad exposure this opportunity provides, the successful proponent also receives
benefits including a suite lease with the facility, season tickets, centre ice logo, two rink board
advertisements, video board announcements, illuminated suite sign and other signage within
the facility.

Essar Steel was originally successful in securing naming rights to the venue on July 23, 2008.
The $1.5 million sponsorship was for a 10-year agreement that had been paid fully in advance. The current agreement runs until July 31, 2018.


  1. What happens if NO ONE steps forward with the cash for naming rights? Hopefully it would then be known as the SOO MEMORIAL GARDENS.

  2. The current agreement should have been declared null and void the minute Essar defaulted on millions in taxes and stiffed many contractors and suppliers, putting some of them right out of business. It should have reverted back to The Memorial Gardens name right then. The public at large would sure like to know what is going on with these global thieves and what their future is with the steel mill. This has gone on far too long.

    • Sorry, your comment is totally ill informed and absolutely ignorant. Essar paid up-front to have the naming rights to the arena. Therefore, dropping its name would have been a violation of the contract they signed. Now that the contract is done a new ‘sponsor’ can be courted. Why can’t you and too many other Sooites understand this? It is very frustrating to see so many uninformed and ignorant comments similar to yours. If you don’t understand the entire situation – whatever it is don’t comment!
      By the way the Essar Centre isn’t the old Memorial Gardens. The old SMG was demolished – other than the Memorial Tower- and an entirely new structure was built on an entirely new footprint.

      • Mr. Troll. This statement applies here as well.
        You’re better to remain silent and be thought stupid than to speak up and remove all doubt.
        Go crawl back under your rock for another decade, and when you think about coming out, don’t.

        • Not a troll. Not a bot. Not a Russian. Just a news reader who tires of uniformed comments. You appear to be the troll with your childish responses.
          By the way, calling someone a troll is the argument/comment of someone without a logical argument/comment.

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