SBD/January 27, 2011/Facilities

BC Place Inks Five-Year Pouring Rights Deal With Labatt Breweries

Budweiser becomes official beer of BC Place, CFL Lions and MLS Whitecaps.
B.C. Pavilion Corp. (PavCo) officials yesterday announced a "five-year beer pouring rights agreement" for BC Place with Labatt Breweries of Canada, according to Lowell Ullrich of the Vancouver PROVINCE. Labatt Breweries brews Budweiser in Canada, and Vancouver's CKNW-AM Tuesday reported that PavCo is "awarding naming rights to Budweiser to complement its pouring rights deal." BC Place GM Howard Crosley yesterday said that PavCo, the stadium's operator, "remains in pursuit of a naming rights agreement to help offset costs" of the venue's C$563M renovation project, and that PavCo "hopes to have a deal in a couple of months" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 1/27). In Vancouver, Bruce Constantineau reports the pouring rights deal also makes Budweiser the "official beer" of the CFL Lions, MLS Whitecaps and BC Place and gives Labatt "access to team logos and branding, along with exclusive rights to media and signage." Labatt "becomes the Lions' fifth premier partner and the Whitecaps' fourth major partner" as the team prepares for its MLS debut in March. But that debut against Toronto FC "will take place at the temporary Empire Field stadium and both the Caps and Lions will play there until PavCo completes" the BC Place renovation. All that is "known for sure is the newly renovated stadium will host the 2011 Grey Cup on Nov. 27." Crosley said the "installation of the 36th and final steel mast at BC Place was completed recently about two weeks behind schedule but stressed the building project itself is still on track for an 'early fall' opening." He added that the Whitecaps and Lions are "both working out the final details of their BC Place lease contracts." The leases "typically are for five-year terms, with options for extensions." Constantineau notes the Whitecaps "still have a vision to one day play in their own soccer-specific natural-grass waterfront stadium in downtown Vancouver" (VANCOUVER SUN, 1/27).
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