U.S. Cellular Center Asheville (N.C.)

Date Announced: Dec. 31, 2011

Owner/Tenant: The City of Asheville, N.C.

Terms: $750,000 over five years, plus capital cost-sharing and an extension option

The Asheville Civic Center has partnered with U.S. Cellular and will now be called U.S. Cellular Center Asheville. The deal was confirmed in a vote by the Asheville City Council Nov. 22, but was not made final until other companies had the opportunity to submit naming rights bids. No upset bids were placed so U.S. Cellular, which had been in talks since 2010 with Economic Development Director Sam Powers, secured naming rights to the venue.

The deal spans five years, totaling $750,000. U.S. Cellular has agreed to an additional $60,000 in capital cost-sharing and a five-percent attendance incentive or deduction over four years for an additional $32,000 based on attendance benchmarks. There is an optional three-year extension to be decided later, which will increase the naming rights cost $511,310. The venue will also receive marketing and promotional assistance from U.S. Cellular.

Thomas Wolfe Auditorium and ExploreAsheville.com Arena, both part of the civic center, will keep their names.

U.S. Cellular will receive exterior signage and a marquee sign, as well as directional signage on the highway. They will have their logo on all marketing material and tickets, letterhead and staff uniforms. The company will also receive 2,500 square feet for product displays and have use of the facility for event space.

“We’re very excited about the new name,” said Events Administrator Marcia Hart. “I think it’s a great opportunity for the City of Asheville.”

Contact: Sam Powers, (828) 259-5736; Marcia Hart, (828) 259-5743