Cross Insurance acquires naming rights to Portland civic center

A new street-level entrance at the corner of Spring and Center streets replaces a steep set of crumbling concrete steps at the newly renamed Cross Insurance Arena in Portland in this February photo.
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
A new street-level entrance at the corner of Spring and Center streets replaces a steep set of crumbling concrete steps at the newly renamed Cross Insurance Arena in Portland in this February photo. Buy Photo
Posted June 18, 2014, at 1:38 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Goodbye Civic Center, hello Cross Insurance Arena.

On Wednesday, Bangor-based Cross Insurance announced it has acquired the naming rights for the next 10 years to the Cumberland County Civic Center. The $2.5 million deal comes on the heels of the Portland facility’s expansion and reopening in February.

“We’ve been working on it for a long time. It’s finally come to pass,” said Neal Pratt, chairman of the Civic Center’s Board of Trustees. “They are a great company to work with, a lot of synergy.”

With Bangor’s Cross Insurance Center officially opening last September, will that synergy lead to confusion?

Pratt points to the geographical difference between the two venues.

“They [the public] know where they are buying tickets. The concert will be one location or another. There is a 130-mile difference,” he said.

Cross Insurance inked a $3 million deal in 2012 to name the new venue on Main Street in Bangor. The new facility will soon host an Ultimate Fighting Championship bout, and top-tier acts James Taylor and Queens of the Stone Age perform next month.

The Civic Center, home to the Portland Pirates, is a 7,000-seat venue and the largest in southern Maine. It underwent a $33 million renovation which introduced new suites, entrances and a retractable telescopic stage this winter.

“The Cross Insurance Arena will not just be a cultural haven for the city of Portland, but for all of Maine as well. We are extremely excited about our brand’s continued expansion throughout our home state,” said Brent Cross, executive vice president of Cross Insurance in a press release.

The similarity in the names for the state’s most prominent entertainment venues ends there, says Pratt.

They will not share booking agencies or overlap otherwise.

“It has nothing to do with the Bangor experience,” Pratt said. “We evaluated over months. It was the best fit. They are great folks to work with.”

 

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