The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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June 25, 2007

Civic center to be Alltel Center

City, wireless company in agreement

MANKATO — The Midwest Wireless Civic Center will become the Alltel Center if the city and company agree to the deal, as they appeared to do during a City Council work session Monday evening.

The change isn’t yet official, but the council and an Alltel official seemed to agree that the new name would work.

“Frankly, shorter is better,” civic center executive director Bury Lyman told the council.

“Midwest Wireless Civic Center does not roll off the tongue as easily,” City Manager Pat Hentges agreed.

Scott Bergs, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Alltel, said Lyman suggested the new name. If all goes as planned, the name change will go into effect on July 28.

Hentges said the cost of that change — in signage and promotion — is “on Alltel’s shoulders,” but Bergs declined to elaborate on the division of costs.

The change will make this the second building with Alltel’s name on it. The Alltel Arena is located in Little Rock, Ark., the company’s corporate headquarters.

Hentges did say the city could be on the hook for an estimated $3,500, mostly on promotional materials that be obsolete.

The company will continue to pay the city $110,000 a year for naming rights.

“They’ve been a good partner and every indication as we move forward is that Alltel will continue to be a good partner,” Hentges said.

Plus, Lyman said, staff there are already looking forward to the shorter e-mail addresses.

The council will vote on the name change on July 9.

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