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New for 2011: Ford Center

Evansville IceMenThe new downtown Evansville arena officially has a name — Ford Center — and a lead pro-sports tenant after the Evansville IceMen (CHL) come to terms on a new lease after some amazingly contentious negotiations.

The naming-rights deal, announced today by arena manager VenuWorks, is a 10-year deal worth $4.2 million. In additional to the naming rights and exterior signage, the agreement also calls for Ford Motor Co. to receive interior signage as well.

The new $127.5-million arena opens this November.

Meanwhile, there will be a main sports tenant for the arena besides University of Evansville basketball, as the IceMen and the city agree on a five-year lease that calls for the team to pay $10,400 per game (with a discounted rate of $9,400 per game for the first season) and receive a portion of alcohol-sales proceeds depending on the game attendance. That’s much more than the team originally proposed, but the original proposal did not incude any potential revenue from alcohol sales.


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