Bidding to re-name the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena

By Kelly McCarthy

October 10, 2013 Updated Oct 10, 2013 at 6:15 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) How would you like to see your business or a local corporation's name in lights in downtown Binghamton? Broome County is looking for bids to take over the naming rights of the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.

One of Southern Tier's largest venues is looking into a name change and hoping a new source of revenue will ease a burden that's resting on Broome County.

"The arena has been losing somewhere north of $1 million per year in its annual operating budget," said Deputy County Executive Bijoy Datta, "So we thought when we came into office it would make sense to try and increase revenue if we were able to sell naming rights."

Bids can be submitted until Oct. 30 and then it goes up for a vote in the Broome County Legislature.

"I think it's an interesting concept, I'm anxious to see who responds," said (R) County Legislator Jerry Marinich, "But I'm also anxious to see how the veterans feel and therefore we're compiling a letter to all the veterans groups in Broome County and ask what their opinion is."

The proposal is asking to drop Broome County from the name, but to keep Veterans Memorial Arena. The name could change to any sponsorship that's willing to pay at least $50,000 a year.

"So for example it might be the company XYZ Veteran Memorial Arena," Datta said, "The words Broome County go away but veterans stays there."

A change that's not intended to take away meaning, only offset a cost.

"So there are some things that we need to fund, but we want to minimize how much we fund it," Marinich said, "And I think this is another way we can help minimize that."

Marinich is preparing the letters to veteran groups and expects to have them in the mail early next week.

"We're just trying to find new ways to keep the arena going," Datta said, "And keep as many events happening there as possible so it's successful for the long term."

As of Thursday, no bids have been received by Broome County. Bids are due to Broome County by Oct. 30 and are asking for a minimum bid of $50,000 a year.

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