Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 1, 2011 12:33 PM
Pretty much everybody’s hurting for cash these days: workers, companies, cities.
So it was good news for the struggling city of Rockford, Illinois, when it got BMO Harris Bank — a subsidiary of Canada's Bank of Montreal — to pay for the naming rights to its local arena, turning the Rockford MetroCentre into the BMO Harris Bank Center. When the city negotiated its deal with Harris, though, it agreed to one thing that it couldn’t actually follow up on: secrecy.
The Rockford Star Register has filed all the paperwork and done all the dirty work and, through the wonders of the US Freedom of Information Act, come up with the price Harris paid to the city in order to see its name in lights: $1.3 million over five years.
That kind of cash is certainly needed. After all, the venue (home to the American Hockey League's Rockford IceHogs, now sponsored by the bank as part of the naming deal) lost $893,260 in the year that ended June 30, according to the Star Register, a loss that was made up with a $1.1 million subsidy from the city.Continue reading...