Stadium naming rights fails to lure bidders

By Chris Thomson | posted on July 5, 2018

ZIP, zero, nada, none.

That’s how many bids the City of Albany has received in response to its glossy, nine-page call for proposals to privatise the name of Centennial Stadium.

At 2pm on June 28, The Weekender was the only public witness to an opening of proposals at the City’s North Road headquarters.

As the tender box swung open, an official peered in, locked the box up, stepped away, and said The Weekender’s poised pen and Spirax notepad would not be required.

In a major anti-climax, not one naming rights sponsor had been lured from the woodwork of corporate Albany.

On Tuesday, Acting City CEO Michael Cole confirmed no late proposals had been received either.

“The request for proposal process was delivered in line with the City’s sponsorship policy and was only the first step in seeking interest from prospective sponsors,” Mr Cole said.

“The City will continue to proactively seek interest from potential naming rights sponsors and is currently compiling a shortlist of potential targets.

“Whilst receiving a proposal would have been a positive outcome, the City held no expectations around achieving an outcome in this initial stage of the process.”

In an article that recently revealed the City’s plan to sell the arena’s handle (‘A stadium by any other name’ , June 21), President of the Albany Ratepayers and Residents Association Elizabeth Barton foresaw a vapid result.

“What?! $50,000 a year?” the former City councillor said when told of the minimum price sought.

“You’ve got to be kidding.

“This is Albany, not Perth.”

She said the name ‘Albany Oval’ would be preferable to any corporate moniker.

Asked if the City would consider giving the stadium a name that included ‘Albany’, ‘Great Southern’, or ‘South Coast’ – to promote the area to tourists and investors and recoup some pay-off from its substantial investment in the stadium – Mr Cole mostly repeated his answer to an earlier question.

“The City will continue to proactively approach and seek interest from potential naming rights sponsors in line with the City’s sponsorship policy and the criteria stated in the request for proposal process,” he said.