City considers plan to brand CTrain stations
The City of Calgary is looking for an individual who is well-versed in the work that goes into naming rights and branding to help with a proposal that would see business names added to LRT stations.
The scheme, which is used in a number of U.S. cities, is intended to be a revenue generator for the city to help balance the 50:50 ratio used to operate the service.
“50 percent comes from the taxpayer and 50 percent comes from the user,” says Ward 12 councillor Shane Keating. “If you want to stay at that ratio, then we have to look at a number of things to make sure that we’re bringing in as much revenue as we can.”
Keating says the city has an open contract position for someone who will be able to help move the process forwards. That individual should have an expertise in naming rights as well as some idea of property values too.
“[They will need to] assess amenities like a CTrain station and a number of different things the city owns.”
In regards to any sort of confusion that could occur because of the new names, Keating says the existing names will remain in place.
“I would like, for example, in Quarry Park, there’s going to be a future Green Line station and Remington is a major developer in the area, so it could be Quarry Park-Remington station. We have to understand that the name will always be at the end, not in front, because you want to make sure that Quarry Park; everyone knows where Quarry Park is.”
Many Calgarians feel that there is nothing wrong with the city’s plan to try and make a bit more money off of the facilities it owns.
“There’s already commercials inside and out, so what’s the difference? It’s a good idea,” said Waylon Yellow Old Woman.
Steve Wolf says it doesn’t seem like there is anything malicious behind putting up more ads, but he wonders what other people will think.
“It might alter people’s perspectives over time,” he says. “It just seems, how many things are we going to brand? Are we going to start branding every possible public structure in the city?”
Keating says branding city facilities isn’t something new to Calgary either.
“We’ve done this many times already. The new rec centres have a sponsor or naming rights on them. Some of the libraries have naming rights beside them, where they give a donation and it’s been named.”
Once someone is found to help the City of Calgary with the naming process, it’s expected that they will return to council with the next steps sometime in the fall.
(With files from Alesia Fieldberg)