Exterior photo of the Air Canada Centre. Home of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors. 

Image Credit: Roland Tanglao (CC BY 2.0)

Canadian banking giant Scotiabank has purchased the naming rights to Toronto’s Air Canada Centre; home of the NBA’s Toronto Raptors and NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs. The deal is reportedly worth $800 million over 20 years or $40 million per season.  The agreement is the largest naming rights agreement in NHL history. Barclays, another multinational bank, pays a similar price for the naming rights to the Barclays Center, home of the New York Islanders.

2017 will mark the final year that Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment’s downtown arena will be known as the Air Canada Centre. The official name change will take place in July of 2018. Scotiabank previously owned the naming rights to the Ottawa Senators’ home arena before it became the Canadian Tire Centre. It also currently owns the naming rights to the Scotiabank Saddledome, home of the Calgary Flames.

Photo of the Air Canada Centre during a Toronto Maple Leafs game.

Image Credit: Mark Mauno (CC BY 2.0)

Air Canada has owned the naming rights to the Air Canada Centre since 1999 and originally paid $4 million per season for the naming rights. The airline was interested in purchasing a new naming rights agreement with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment but could not afford the money Scotiabank was willing to pay. Scotiabank has been very vocal about how hockey fans have become an important part of the company’s growth strategy.

Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors fans likely won’t warm up to the name change until their teams have a few seasons under their belt at Scotiabank Arena. In fact, many fans are probably still pissed the team moved out of the legendary Maple Leaf Gardens and still call the Rogers Centre the “Skydome”.





Related Articles