New sponsor new name for Baypark

By Joseph Aldridge

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The naming rights to the Bay of Plenty's largest community and sporting facility have been sold to the ASB bank.

The Baypark facility, which incorporates a sports stadium, speedway track and indoor arena, will from today be known as ASB Baypark.

The sponsorship arrangement was announced last night at a function in the TECT Arena suites.

TECT, which paid $8 million towards the construction of the $41 million arena, will hand over its naming rights to allow ASB to become Baypark's major sponsor.

Neither ASB nor Tauranga City Venues, which operates Baypark, would say how much the sponsorship deal was worth.

ASB's executive general manager for culture and community Linley Wood said the partnership continued "ASB's long-standing support for New Zealand communities".

"ASB is committed to making a real difference in the communities in which we operate, so being involved with a multi-purpose, popular facility like ASB Baypark is a great opportunity for us to continue building our support in this key Bay of Plenty region."

Baypark chief executive Ervin McSweeney said he was thrilled to have ASB as a major sponsor.

"With over 500,000 visits per year, Baypark already plays a major role in the social and sporting lives of the community, so we look forward to working with ASB to continue to develop these facilities into a venue the community can be involved in, enjoy and be proud of."

The board of Tauranga City Venues would be making decisions on how best to use ASB's sponsorship funds to develop the facility.

The board had a number of plans on its wish list but upgrading the stadium was probably too big of a project to undertake without council funding, Mr McSweeney said.

Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby said ASB's investment was exciting and significant and signalled a positive future for the facility.

"We also acknowledge the contribution of TECT which have been a major funder and supporter of the arena project, a facility which has already been of huge benefit to our community," Mr Crosby said.

TECT chairman Michael Cooney said TECT had agreed to hand over its arena naming rights to enable Tauranga City Venues to access further funds to develop the complex

"TECT saw the opportunity to encourage a quality organisation like ASB to expand its presence in this region and their initiative to support Baypark as a benefit to our community," Mr Cooney said.

"TECT is pleased to have played a role in the development of the fabulous community asset that the arena has become."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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