CBRM to evaluate value of Sydney's Centre 200 naming rights

What's in a name?

That's what the Cape Breton Regional Municipality hopes to find out for Sydney's Centre 200.

The municipality will hire a consultant this summer to assess what the naming rights would be worth for the 5,000-seat arena, home of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles major junior hockey team.

Attracting a corporate sponsor to attach their name to a sports facility is common practice in many cities across Canada, said Centre 200 general manager Paul MacDonald.

"Halifax did it a few years ago with Scotiabank, and Moncton's new facility has naming rights attached to it," said MacDonald. "We're just falling in line with most facilities in the region and the country."

Joan Weeks/ CBC

The CBRM issued a request for proposals this week for a consultant to advise the municipality on how much it could ask for the naming rights.

"I've looked across the country at different venues and in different cities, and each city is different and each market is different," said MacDonald.

"You certainly don't want to leave money on the table and you don't want to undervalue. You just want to be where the market bears and I think that's what the point of this is."

MacDonald said there's no particular financial pressure that has prompted the move. But he said the arena is more than 30 years old and in need of some improvements.

"It still has a long lifespan moving forward, but we do have to capitalize certain areas, and this is just a way of enabling that to move a little bit quicker."

The request for proposals closes July 11. MacDonald said he hopes to have a report from the consultant by the fall.