Rep. Fellela introduces legislation to permit naming rights for Rhode Island Convention Center
STATE HOUSE — Rep. Deborah A. Fellela (D-Dist. 43, Johnston) has introduced legislation that would open the way for corporations to bid on naming the Rhode Island Convention Center.
The legislation (2017-H 5379) would authorize the Convention Center Authority to solicit bids and enter into contracts for naming agreements for the convention center.
“More and more states are exploring naming rights as an untapped stream of revenue,” said Representative Fellela. “There are states that have even sold naming rights to roads and bridges to aid highway funding. Selling naming rights for the convention center would provide an excellent source of revenue, particularly now as we look at cutting the auto excise tax.”
In the past, municipal governments have experimented with this option more than state governments, including the city Providence selling naming rights to its ice rink, which is now Alex and Ani City Center, or the Providence Civic Center, which is now the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, although that building is now also owned by the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority.
In New York, Barclays, an international banking firm, not only bought naming rights to the arena where the Brooklyn Nets play, but also bought naming rights to the subway station from the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority
“The convention center would be ideal for selling naming rights,” said Representative Fellela. “I see this as a good alternative to usual revenue generators, such as taxes and fees.”
On Tuesday night, the House Finance Committee heard testimony on the legislation, which is cosponsored by Representatives Thomas Winfield (D-Dist. 53, Smithfield, Glocester), Joseph J. Solomon Jr. (D-Dist. 22, Warwick), Charlene M. Lima (D-Dist. 14, Cranston, Providence) and Patricia Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick).
For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903