The 440,000 square foot building sitting at 345 Portage Avenue will soon have a new name. Originally coined the ‘MTS Centre’, the 16,345 seat venue then transitioned to ‘Bell MTS Place’ in late-May of 2017 following Bell Canada’s purchase of the MTS brand.
On July 1, 2021, the building will be renamed as ‘Canada Life Centre’. This change will mark the beginning of a 10-year sponsorship agreement between True North Sports + Entertainment and Canada Life. Within the agreement, building naming rights and logos/advertising will be at the forefront.
BREAKING: Winnipeg’s Bell MTS Place to be renamed Canada Life Centre July 1, 2021.
This marks the beginning of a 10-year sponsorship and branding agreement for the home of the Winnipeg Jets and Manitoba Moose in downtown Winnipeg.
Bell MTS will also remain an official partner. pic.twitter.com/TN5Mq10miv
— Carter Brooks (@CBrooksie84) June 15, 2021
“As True North Sports + Entertainment celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, we can’t think of a more exciting way to embark upon the next 10 years of our organization’s journey than with a partner like Canada Life, that shares the same community commitment and passion for our great city and country,” True North Sports + Entertainment Executive Chairman Mark Chipman said. “We are proud to call the home of our Winnipeg Jets and Manitoba Moose Canada Life Centre and look forward to associating the Canada Life brand with exciting moments in hockey and entertainment.”
Not only will the Canada Life Centre serve as the home of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets, but also the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose. And once entertainment is back on pace with its pre-COVID-19 numbers, the venue will also be home to roughly 140 shows/acts annually.
“Today marks an exciting chapter for our company,” said Paul Mahon, President and Chief Executive Officer, Great-West Lifeco, Canada Life’s parent company. “For more than 130 years, our companies have called Winnipeg ‘home’ and we’re proud to be an integral part of the fabric of this community. We can’t wait to continue telling our story to Canadians, and as a Winnipegger, I couldn’t be more excited for this journey.”
Although removing the ‘Bell MTS’ namesake from the venue, True North has renewed its long-standing partnership with the Manitoban entity through the 2026-27 season. The ‘Bell MTS’ helmet stickers that players on the Jets wore this past season will remain going forward. Bell Media’s TSN will remain as the official regional broadcast network of the team. True North’s four ice surface practice/training facility will remain as Bell MTS Iceplex.
“Bell MTS has been a committed and proud partner since we first conceived of building a new arena in downtown Winnipeg and further strengthened their commitment to us in the early days of planning for the return of the NHL to our city,” Chipman added. “As True North completes its first 25 years, and the Winnipeg Jets mark their tenth anniversary this season, we’re thrilled that Bell MTS has renewed its unparalleled commitment to our teams, arena, and our community as we begin our next decade in the NHL.”
Despite officially changing its name on July 1, the current signage on 345 Portage will take some time to remove. This includes exterior naming, the centre-ice hung jumbotron, centre-ice logos, City of Winnipeg skywalk and detached walkway logos, as well as various themed wall-art throughout the concourse and walkways around the arena. These tasks are expected to be completed by September for pre-season action for the 2021-22 NHL season.
The Canada Life Assurance Company advertises itself as a leading insurance, wealth management and benefits provider. Its main objectives are improving the financial, physical and mental well-being of Canadians. Back in January of 2020, Canada Life merged with Great-West Life and London Life to form the new Canada Life, where it currently serves over 12,000,000 customers across Canada.
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