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Home of Senators changes name from Scotiabank Place to Canadian Tire Centre

OTTAWA - The home of the Ottawa Senators is getting a new name.

Scotiabank Place will be renamed the Canadian Tire Centre, the team announced Tuesday.

Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said the new strategic partnership between Senators Sports&Entertainment and the Canadian Tire Corporation included, but is not limited to, naming rights for the arena.

Melnyk said the agreement had been in the works for the past two months and will officially take effect July 1, 2013.

The Senators signed a 15-year, $20-million agreement with Scotiabank in 2006, but certain parts of the agreement were set to expire which included an opt-out by the Senators on the naming rights. With this in mind Melnyk approached Duncan Fulton, senior vice president of corporate affairs for Canadian Tire Corporation.

"They made up their mind very quickly to tell you the truth and after that they moved so fast when they saw this opportunity," Melnyk said. "In the end, it's very extensive and you'll see a lot of big changes.

"It's very, very important for us to have somebody that's that committed to the community and the fans."

Scotiabank will continue to remain involved with the Senators and will remain as the official bank of the team under a long-term agreement.

The new agreement with Canadian Tire comes with an opportunity for renewal every ten years, with an unlimited amount of renewals.

Neither party was willing to unveil the terms of the deal, but Fulton said "it was certainly an attractive deal or we wouldn't have done it."

"The deal we have essentially allows us to be here as long as we would ever want," Fulton said. "This is a long term deal for us and our history in sport and in this region should give everyone comfort that we're here for a very, very long time."

Canadian Tire is an original sponsor of the Senators and was involved with the team from the moment the city was awarded the franchise in 1990.

This will be the fourth name change since the building opened Jan. 15, 1996 as The Palladium. It then went on to become the Corel Centre just over a month later and eventually Scotiabank Place on Jan. 19, 2006.

In addition to the naming rights, the partnership with Canadian Tire includes building, digital, scoreboard and in-ice signage as well as support for community-based programs, an enhanced partnership between Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities and the Sens Foundation to provide support for families in financial need to get children involved in sport, as well as a number of other title sponsorship opportunities for various Senators initiatives.

Canadian Tire will also become the title sponsor of the Senators' Sportsnet broadcasts.

The partnership will feature branding opportunities for a number of the retail entities that fall under the Canadian Tire Corporation such as Sport Chek, Sports Experts and Mark's, a clothing retailer that will serve as the official outfitter of event and facility staff with assorted apparel from Denver Hayes.

Fulton went on to add that there will also be a number of new community initiatives to help increase the number of kids taking part in sport.

Having the ability to have so many of its properties and programs tie into the Senators is what made the deal so appealing to the Canadian Tire Corporation.

"If it was just an infrastructure deal I know we would have said no," said Fulton. "It was seeing that we could get so many of our different family of companies in there and activate it all. The whole thing just made a ton of sense as we went through it."

While some changes will take place immediately, Fulton admitted that due to the scope of the agreement some will be implemented over time.

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