Toyota Arena replaces Citizens Business Bank Arena. (Courtesy Toyota Arena)

Ontario, Calif., venue gets new naming sponsor in 10-year deal

Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif., is becoming Toyota Arena starting Tuesday.

Citizens Business Bank’s 10-year deal started when the facility opened in 2008. The new contract with Toyota is also a 10-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

In an uncommon move, the deal was sealed three weeks ago and the signage made and put up for the revealing of the new name.

Adam Millar, general manager of the building for SMG, has been with the 11,500-capacity venue since August 2018.

“It’s a wall-to-wall full naming-rights deal,” Millar said. “This is an expansion of a partnership and relationship that’s been in place for over 10 years. Toyota was one of our original sponsors.”

This is not Toyota’s first naming-rights installation. The car manufacturer already has its brand on Toyota Center in Houston; Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas; and Toyota Field in San Antonio.

Most of the new signage is already up. The cost of signs was “in the hundreds of thousands” and will be split by the venue and the carmaker.

“The main venue sign has been installed and there’s a number of signage elements that have been installed,” Millar said. “Some additional signage will come in over the next few weeks.

Toyota is “a very recognizable brand, and they are very customer service oriented, as are we, and we are going to run a ‘we make it easy’ campaign just like they run,” he said.

The facility has 36 suites and some are customized with branding, such as San Manuel Casino’s suite. That branding will continue.

Big acts that have played the arena include Dierks Bentley, Pink, Kevin Hart, Miranda Lambert and Tim McGraw & Faith Hill.

The newly named Toyota Arena is 25 miles from 19,400-capacity Honda Center in Anaheim, its closest competitor, but “we hardly consider them competition,” Millar said. “Many times, the acts will play Los Angeles, Anaheim and here.”

Millar said the building has thrived since SMG took over the contract from AEG in 2016 and set up an in-house food and beverage program.

“We had three goals when we got here,” he said. “We set out to improve the content and the quantity, improve the guest experience and improve the food and beverage. We’ve crushed it on all three. We have more shows, more people, better F&B sales, and the guests are happy.”

The arena is home to several sports teams, including the American Hockey League’s Ontario Reign; the Ontario Fury of the Major American Soccer League; Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario, a G League basketball team; and the Los Angeles Temptations of the Legends Football League.

Citizens Business Bank will remain the venue’s official banking partner.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated since it was originally posted to correct the name of country music artist Dierks Bentley.