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Look who's about to get naming rights for the Essar Centre!

Building to be re-named GFL Memorial Gardens
Artist's rendering of new signage at former Essar Centre

Sault Ste. Marie City Council will be asked Monday to award a 10-year naming, advertising and sponsorship agreement for the Essar Centre to GFL Environmental Inc.

Brent Lamming, the city's director of community services, will recommend our pre-eminent sports and entertainment venue be renamed GFL Memorial Gardens.

GFL Environmental Inc. has 140 facilities and 5,000 employees across Canada and Michigan, all headed by former Saultite Patrick Dovigi, who tended goal for the Erie Otters in the late 1990s and was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers.

Canadian Business magazine estimates Dovigi's net worth at $1.08 billion, ranking him #97 on its list of Canada's richest people.

Here in the Sault, a GFL team created to launch the new Essar Centre name will be headed by Chris Dovigi.

"GFL will actively involve the community for the reveal and will continuously strive to educate and lead the City of Sault Ste. Marie about waste and waste recycling," Lamming says in a report to Mayor Provenzano and City Council.

GFL will pay the city $75,000 a year for 10 years in exchange for the naming rights, starting August 1.

That compares to $130,000 received by the city annually from Essar Steel Algoma Inc. under a similar sponsorship deal.

The proposed new deal has GFL giving the Essar Centre a 50 per cent discount on all waste and recycling containers.

That will save the city about $3,600 each year.

GFL's bid was selected over two other others by a committee comprised of Lamming, purchasing manager Tim Gowans and Tom Vair, deputy chief administrative officer for community development and enterprise services.

Monday's City Council meeting will be livestreamed on SooToday starting at 4:30 p.m.


David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans six decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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