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Crain’s Detroit Business’s Shea: Don’t expect Wings to name their follow-on rink Gordie Howe Arena

There's a significant amount of on and off-ice news regarding the Red Wings thanks to today's practice and news regarding Brendan Smith and Darren Helm's injuries, and off the ice, Crain's Detriot Business's Bill Shea's following up his report about the potential 2013 ground-breaking upon the site that the Wings plan on building their new rink with an article discussing the possible naming options for the follow-on facility:

While a new hockey arena could be called something like Joe Louis V. 2.0, odds are the new Wings home will have a corporate name because naming rights deals are an easy source of cash to pay down construction debt.

One possible naming rights contender is Ada-based Amway Corp. In September 2011, the Wings inked a deal with Amway, the network-based direct-marketing giant, to become the team's first-ever presenting team sponsor. Financial terms were not disclosed, but that contract is thought to be a two-year, seven-figure deal.

Amway said last year it isn't involved in the project. That could change at any time. The company has a number of other pro sports investments, such as holding the naming rights of the Amway Center, home to the National Basketball Association's Orlando Magic

Another possibility could be PNC Bank, which has been investing in sports marketing. The lender dropped its presenting sponsorship of the Detroit Pistons last year, but signed a seven-figure, three-year deal to become the official bank of the University of Michigan's athletic department. It already had been sponsor of UM's spring football game.

PNC is involved in several other high-profile sports relationships: It bought the naming rights to PNC Park, the home of Major League Baseball's Pittsburgh Pirates, in 2001 in a $40 million deal that expires in 2021. The bank is part of Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group Inc.

Detroit's other two arenas are publicly owned (by the Detroit-Wayne Country Stadium Authority), but the teams worked out corporate naming-rights deals themselves as part of their management contracts to use and operate the venues. The Ilitch-owned Detroit Tigers play at Comerica Park, which Comerica Bank put its name on via a 30-year, $66 million deal in 1998.

The Detroit Lions got $50 million from Ford Motor Co. under a deal that had the automaker pay the money in three lump sums in 2002 alone to put the its name on Ford Field. The company paid $30 million in February 2002, $17.5 million in March 2002 and the balance in December 2002, according to SEC documents.

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cowboycoffee's avatar


Posted by cowboycoffee from San Francisco, CA on 02/04/13 at 05:55 PM ET

duhduhduh's avatar


Hahaha. embrace it!!  Rhey could just call it the Pyramid.

Posted by duhduhduh on 02/04/13 at 07:05 PM ET

Crater's avatar

I know why they have to do what they will do with the naming.. but I REALLY wish it could be something iconic and cool. The Joe while not Red Wings/Hockey Related is a cool name that embraces history. I hope that if they do have to put a big corporation’s name on it they somehow still show some appreciation for the past… preferably hockey. Like the <Amway> Production Line Arena or something.

Posted by Crater from SoCal on 02/04/13 at 07:37 PM ET

d ca's avatar

it’s going to be Little Caesar’s Arena that way they can write off some of the money they put into the project.


some bank that cuts Ilitch a break on the loan’s interest rate to get its name on the arena (like Comerica did)


Posted by d ca on 02/04/13 at 08:01 PM ET

duhduhduh's avatar

Probably not Howe Arena because they expect the Pistons to play there eventually.

Posted by duhduhduh on 02/04/13 at 08:18 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I’d like to see it named the “Belle Tire,” but that’s just me. It would be the “hub” of Wings hockey raspberry raspberry raspberry

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/05/13 at 12:45 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.