BMO Harris Bank announced today it has entered into a long-term agreement for the naming rights of the Rockford MetroCentre and sponsorship of the Rockford IceHogs, in partnership with the Rockford Area Venues and Entertainment Authority (RAVE). This announcement builds on numerous commitments made by the bank since it enhanced its presence in Rockford last year.
The Rockford MetroCentre will now be called BMO Harris Bank Center. In addition to being the home of the Rockford IceHogs, it hosts numerous entertainment, conference and community events and has been a cornerstone in the community since the venue’s opening in 1981.
"This new opportunity allows us to take our support of the greater Rockford area to the next level," said Mark Furlong, president and CEO of BMO Harris Bank, N.A. "The Rockford MetroCentre has long committed to enhancing the overall quality of life in Rockford, and while BMO Harris Bank shares this same promise to our communities, we look forward to carrying on the tradition and enriching the city with sought after performances and sporting events."
"This is an exciting day for RAVE – and truly for the whole community – which benefits from the sports and entertainment at the MetroCentre," said Mike Dunn, RAVE Board Chairman. "The long-term commitment from BMO Harris Bank has been unwavering – from the sponsorship of the world’s largest outdoor synthetic ice rink which brought thousands of families to downtown during the winter months, to today’s announcement of the naming rights makes it a perfect example of a genuine partnership of an organization that cares about the individuals in the area."
"I appreciate the hard work of the RAVE Board, the management team, and our partners at SMG who helped to get this deal done," said Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey. "The MetroCentre is a great community asset and today’s announcement by BMO Harris Bank demonstrates the confidence they have in the direction of RAVE and our entire downtown. Having the world-wide credibility of BMO Harris Bank will help us to continue our work to expand entertainment and economic development opportunities in our community."
"This is a true community collaboration – bringing together a business that has shown an ongoing diligence in supporting our regional activities and initiatives with a organization that in the past 18 months has virtually changed the way people feel and think about downtown," said Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen. "The BMO Harris Bank Center is a great example of what can be done when the private and public sector work together for the good of the citizens."
"We are pleased to see the ongoing partnership that the Chicago Blackhawks has built with BMO Harris Bank continued with our AHL Affiliate Rockford IceHogs," said Chicago Blackhawks President & CEO John McDonough. "Our franchise is always motivated by our quest for consistent excellence and our partnership with BMO Harris Bank aligns with that goal perfectly."
"We have all benefited from the excellent entertainment and sports that is brought to our area’s largest arena," said Loves Park Mayor Darryl Lindberg. "Today’s announcement demonstrates a further vote of confidence for our region by a large corporation who is committed to the vision of enhancing our quality of life."