Thursday, November 18, 2010

Van Andel Arena's Concourse Expansion to be Dedicated Before Saturday's Griffins Game

"Amway Section A,” the $1.2 million expansion of Van Andel Arena’s northwest concourse, will be dedicated and opened to the public prior to the game this Saturday, Nov. 20 between the Grand Rapids Griffins and Lake Erie Monsters at 7PM.

Following four months of construction, final touches are being made to this 3,500-square-foot addition, which was designed by Rossetti Architects, the arena’s original architects, and built by general contractor Rockford Construction and other local firms. Intended to help alleviate congestion during large arena events, Amway Section A will feature a full bar, concession-style food service and three 42” flat screen TVs.

A brief ribbon-cutting ceremony for Amway Section A will be held at 6:15 p.m. Saturday, 15 minutes after doors open. Madiol, Griffins president & CEO Dan DeVos, and SMG’s regional general manager for Van Andel Arena, Rich MacKeigan, will be among the dignitaries on hand to dedicate the addition and welcome its first patrons. The first 500 fans to visit Amway Section A will receive a free t-shirt, while 100 more shirts will be tossed to the crowd during the Griffins game.

“With the full support of the Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority, we continually strive to make improvements that benefit our patrons,” said MacKeigan. “The expansion of the concourse will provide a more convenient and comfortable walkway for patrons and an additional area for concessions, while maintaining the look and feel of the facility’s original design.”

The naming rights for the concourse expansion are one element in a three-year sponsorship agreement between the Griffins and Amway, which also includes the placement of an Amway patch on the Griffins’ home and road jerseys and ad spots during the Griffins’ radio broadcasts on ESPN 96.1 FM.

“We have pursued Amway in the past with different sponsorship elements, but this year we really felt we had a package that perfectly met their corporate objectives,” said Tim Gortsema, the Griffins’ senior vice president of business operations. “The jersey patch is premium inventory that gives them broadness of reach in all the American Hockey League markets we visit, and having the Amway name connected to the home of the Griffins is a great match. I could not envision any other sponsor for this expansion.”

Amway is extremely active in sports sponsorships. They hold the naming rights of the Amway Center in Orlando, which is home to the NBA’s Orlando Magic, and are the presenting sponsor of Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes. Most recently, Amway’s North American affiliate announced they hold exclusive rights to placing their logo on the official Detroit Red Wings practice jersey as well as dasher board signage at Joe Louis Arena.