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Air Canada Centre to be renamed Scotiabank Arena in 2018 after historic 20-year deal

The deal between MLSE and Scotiabank will rename the multipurpose arena in downtown Toronto next summer.

Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Three Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

The home of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Raptors is getting a name change. On July 1, 2018, the Air Canada Centre in Toronto will be renamed Scotiabank Arena after Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment struck a deal with the bank Tuesday afternoon.

The deal, which will take effect next summer, is a landmark 20-year, $800 million (in Canadian dollars) agreement between Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment and Scotiabank. In 1999 when the arena opened, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment had signed a deal with Air Canada for 20 years at just around $4 million per year, according to TSN.

This agreement is also believed to become the biggest annual team and building sponsorship in North American history. In more recent naming rights deals, JPMorgan Chase bought the naming rights to the Golden State Warriors new arena for approximately $15 to $20 million annually in 2016. This deal between Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment and Scotiabank will be for approximately $40 million per year.

In speaking with TSN, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment’s chief commercial officer David Hopkinson said eight companies reached out to them with “serious offers.”

“To be honest, it wasn’t that difficult to find interested suitors,” Hopkinson said. “This is already firmly established as Canada’s premier entertainment venue… We felt we had a very good sense about what the market would bear and Scotia and ourselves have agreed on what that number should look like.”

This arena isn’t the first that Scotiabank has put their name on. Currently, the Calgary Flames play in the Scotiabank Saddledome, and the Ottawa Senators previous naming rights deal was for Scotiabank Place before being renamed the Canadian Tire Centre in 2013.

Selling naming rights to banks and financial industries has become quite a lucrative business for professional sports teams, and Toronto is just the latest to benefit from these deals.