Officials involved with the East Kentucky Expo Center over the years have mentioned the possibility of selling the naming rights to the facility as a way of helping to fund it.
Last week, the Pikeville City Commission voted unanimously to make that happen, which will result in the facility’s name changing for at least the next five years and the facility also receiving an annual influx of cash.
During the commission meeting, commissioners, who also serve as the Expo Center’s board of directors, approved selling the naming rights to Appalachian Wireless, which will result in Expo Center becoming Appalachian Wireless Arena.
Pikeville City Manager Philip Elswick said the company has agreed to purchase the naming rights for $85,000 annually for the next five years, with two five-year options available after this term expires.
Elswick said the influx of cash is not the only benefit the city will receive as a part of the deal.
“Part of the deal is that Appalachian Wireless will give our staff work cell phones on, essentially, a two-year basis,” he said, adding the maximum allotment on that will be $15,000 annually.
Elswick said city officials believe it’s a positive to not only get the naming rights sold, but also to sell them to a company with a reputation for its work in the community.
“It’s great to get this done,” he said. “It’s a constant stream of revenue for the facility. It provides a recognizable regional name. It’s a good branding for the facility.
“It’s a local company, based here, that’s a great community partner all throughout the region,” he said.
The change will be effective June 1.