Metro Centre Could Sell Rights to Name

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What's in a name? Well the cash-strapped Metro Centre hopes there's money and opportunity. The facility's board is considering selling the rights to Metro Centre's name.

Metro Centre officials hope a new name could bring money and positive changes to the struggling facility.

The Amcore Arena? The Hamilton Sunstrand Pavillion? Centre Events General Manager Corey Pearson hopes a big sponsor could bring big changes to the Metro Centre.

"I hope the community can embrace it as a positive change for us," said Pearson.

A group has been formed to explore the possibility of selling the rights to the Metro Centre name and research the best companies to approach.

"I'd love to see a local corporation be able to have the naming rights show it's part of Rockford and so that we can intertwine them and us into the community more," Pearson said.

People we talked with say they don't mind if they change the name of the Metro Centre. They just wonder who would pay to put their name on the building.

"They have to do something but I don't know who would buy it because there doesn't seem to be much interest in the Metro Centre," said Edward Pastor, Rockford resident.

But Pearson says the plan is to get a company on board and the completely remodel the Metro Centre allowing the sponsor to give input and increase the marketing potential. The board will address the issue at its meeting Friday night.

How is Centre Events going to afford remodeling the facility given budget troubles?

The group actually has nearly four million dollars in state money that has to be used for capital improvements. It can't go for wages or other expenditures, where the budget problems exist.

What are your thoughts about renaming the Metro Centre? Email 23 WIFR at and let us know!