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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