BC was poised to get a whopping $40 million for a 20-year deal that would see BC Place renamed to “Telus Park.” The generous windfall was set to ease the financial burden of the $563 stadium upgrade.
But the gargantuan deal has fallen through, leaving the public confused and Telus steaming mad. Yesterday, Jobs, Innovation, and Tourism Minister Pat Bell confirmed that the government decided to retain the “iconic” name rather than accept the money from Telus for a naming sponsorship.
The government openly acknowledged that the deal “wasn’t in the best interests of taxpayers.” But what’s insane is that everyone considered this deal done: PavCo courted Telus at length, who had already built massive, expensive signage. It seems that only the government felt there was even the ability to axe the deal by this point.
It’s worth noting that Telus is headquartered locally, making it an ideal sponsorship – and that it sponsors the nearby Science World. It’s also in the early phases of a massive, multi-building condo, office, and park development in downtown Vancouver.
What do you think? Should the government have intervened to eradicate the deal between Telus and PavCo? What’s more important, millions of dollars for taxpayers or a venue name?