In council last month, during a discussion on what to name the newest Northeast LRT stations, I introduced the idea of partnering with the private sector to help underwrite some of the funding opportunities that Calgary is seeking to fill.
In particular, I suggested that Council consider offering the rights to rename some of Calgary’s LRT stations in exchange for funding that would be put towards a host of city wide projects.such as, but not nearly limited to, community development and recreation centres.
There are many projects throughout the city that could benefit from this type of revenue; revenue that would not go back into the general operations budget.
The City of Calgary currently has a policy of issuing naming rights for some city owned facilities and several well known destinations have incorporated this policy. Some examples of this are, the Telus World of Science, Talisman Centre, Scotiabank Saddledome and Shaw Millennium Park.
The idea would be to keep the original name, and visual, that is associated with the current platforms with the corporate name simply added on.
For example, in Toronto, the TTC is considering a naming opportunity by combining the current Dundas station with Ryerson University. The proposed name of the station would be Dundas-Ryerson Station. The same principals would be used with this concept.
My thought would be to set up a committee of sorts to review each submission and determine if adapting a particular name suits the community and makes sense for the city.
The specific amount of the sponsorship and process would be discussed with Administration and take into consideration the value of the naming opportunity and how best to ensure that the spirit of Calgary does not get wrapped up in advertising, but rather a subtle way putting our resources to the best use.