NHL Panthers Likely To See Arena Naming-Rights Change After BB&T Buys BankAtlantic
BankAtlantic Center, the home of the NHL Panthers, "could see a name change" after yesterday's announcement that BankAtlantic is being sold to BB&T, according to Ashley Torres of the SOUTH FLORIDA BUSINESS JOURNAL. Panthers President & COO Michael Yormark said, "We expect that BB&T will eventually replace BankAtlantic as a naming rights partner for the arena." Yormark added that a "possible name change could take a few months, but will take place quickly once the deal between the two banks is finalized" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 11/1). Yormark said that it "could take several months before the BankAtlantic Center becomes the 'BB&T Center or BB&T Arena or whatever they decide." BB&T's "burgundy color scheme will blend in with the Panthers' emphasis on red" (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 11/1). This would mark the fifth name for the arena since opening in '98. The venue opened as Broward County Civic Arena, then became National Car Rental Center, followed by Office Depot Center before BankAtlantic acquired naming rights (THE DAILY).
LIGHTNING GET NEW ARENA NAME: The Lightning's home arena will be known as the Tampa Bay Times Forum through August '18 as part of a naming-rights extension announced by the team and Times Publishing Co. yesterday. The St. Pete Times Forum will officially change its name to the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Jan. 1 to coincide with the newspaper's name change. The arena opened in '96 as the Ice Palace before selling the naming rights to the St. Petersburg Times in September '02 (Lightning).