The board overseeing the Prairie Capital Convention Center Monday gave tentative approval to a one-year, $25,000 sponsorship agreement from the HyVee store in Springfield.
In exchange for HyVee paying the sponsorship, it would get signs marking concession stands in the building, a sign in the main hall and advertising on the center’s website. The center would pay up to $5,000 for the signs. HyVee would be able to compete to provide goods being sold at concession stands, but the agreement does not make the store the sole supplier.
Kyle Thornsbrough, store director of the HyVee at 2115 S. MacArthur Blvd., said later that he’s excited to see the improvements at the center, and the sponsorship is part of the store “being there for our community.”
Before a letter of intent was passed by voice vote at Monday's meeting of the Springfield Metropolitan Exposition and Auditorium Authority, board member Mary Frances Squires said she worried that more signs, through sponsorship agreements, could “overcommercialize our building.” She also asked if the main-hall signs would be hidden during certain non-sports events.
Mike Coffey Jr., chairman of the board, said the general policy is for signage to remain visible.
“That’s why they’re buying the advertising, so that people see it,” Coffey said.
Shawn Mayernick, director of business partnerships, said there are situations where some signs – such as beer company signs – are not displayed during some events.
The board will need to give final approval to specifics of a sponsorship agreement. The letter of intent also says HyVee would get four tickets to main-hall ticketed events.
Other businesses, including Green Family Stores and Bank of Springfield, already have sponsorships.
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The Prairie Capital Convention Center's board Monday approved having Green Family Stores auto dealerships pay $55,000 a year for a sponsorship that includes naming one level of the building the Green Family Mezzanine. File/SJ-R
Springfield, Illinois (March 17, 2014)- Today the Springfield Metropolitan Exhibition and Auditorium Authority (S.M.E.A.A.) Board approved a contract that allows for the Bank of Springfield to hold exclusive sponsorship rights for the Prairie Capital Convention Center’s (PCCC) newly renovated plaza.
The BoS Plaza is the area located between the PCCC’s parking garage and their lobby. As part of their recent $16 million renovation, the PCCC had the previously unutilized space hard-scaped with the idea that it could be used as an outdoor event venue. “This area was fine when the building was built over thirty years ago but had since become overgrown and underused,” said General Manager, Brian Oaks. He continued, “On rainy days it was a mud pit, and on sunny days a dust bowl. I would look out my office window and think, ‘there has got to be something better for this space.’ And then it came to me; a way to use this space and fulfill a need for the City of Springfield: an outdoor venue in the heart of downtown.”
The BoS Plaza will be home to a new summer concert series as well as various other community events.
“First off, I just want to thank Bank of Springfield for agreeing to partner with us on this new venture,” said Shawn Mayernick, the Director of Business Partnerships at the PCCC, “they are such a pillar of our community and we are very excited they see the same potential we saw in this new space. Having this one of a kind outdoor area gives us the opportunity to add events that will help us increase our economic impact. On average we drive $72 million throughout the year which sustains roughly 400 jobs in the area. ”
Along with signage the Bank of Springfield will also receive a VIP Suite to be located in the adjacent parking garage that is owned and operated by the Prairie Capital Convention Center. The PCCC will create a unique space in the garage for Bank of Springfield and their guests to view the concerts they plan to hold on the BoS Plaza.
Sponsorship of the plaza is the first of many initiatives to find alternate sources of income for the PCCC. “Sponsorships and naming rights are an important part of the future growth of the PCCC. We have worked really hard over the past 7 years to make this building and all of it assets something worthy of putting your name on. We have a building and a brand we are really proud of and it is great to see that other members of the community agree. The BoS Plaza is a huge accomplishment and hopefully the first of many more exciting community partnerships,” adds Oaks.
A Summary of the PCCC Renovations
*Newly renovated Lower Level Meeting Rooms, including Grand Ball Room
*Addition of North and South Main Hall Bathrooms
*Remodel of all existing Mezzanine and Lower Level Bathrooms
*Addition of North and South upper level terraces that provide additional merchandise, concession and event space on the Mezzanine Level
*New and expanded lobby that has over doubled in size
1 Convention Center Plaza
Springfield, IL 62701