Times Union Ending Naming Rights Deal With Albany Arena
The arena in downtown Albany known as the Times Union Center since 2007 will change names for a fourth time since its 1990 inception.
Hearst, which owns the Times Union newspaper, said in a statement Wednesday that it decided not to extend the naming rights agreement with Albany County and arena manager ASM Global in favor of focusing instead on funding local journalism ventures.
The venue was previously known as Knickerbocker Arena and Pepsi Arena. The Times Union agreed to a $1.75 million naming rights extension in 2016.
“We’ve had a great run with our support of the Times Union Center, and I want to express our thanks to Albany County and ASM Global for a strong partnership and for their work to maintain an important regional sports and entertainment asset,” Hearst said in a statement. “We’re in the midst of an evolution at the Times Union that will deepen our impact across the Capital Region and Hudson Valley and expand our ability to report on the diverse communities we serve."
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy says a request for proposal will be issued for the naming rights of the arena.
“Albany County has had a long and trusted partnership with the Times Union newspaper and we can’t ignore the fact that the pandemic and the move to remote digital technology has changed the business model for many industries, including the County," McCoy said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. "Our arena is a premier sports and entertainment facility that attracts top notch talent as well as patrons from beyond the Capital Region. A request for proposal will be issued shortly for the naming rights contract. We thank George Hearst and the Times Union for their years of support and look forward to starting a new relationship with another partner.”