Toronto's AC Centre to be renamed Scotiabank Arena in C$800 million deal

TORONTO (Reuters) - Bank of Nova Scotia will pay C$800 million ($636 million) to change the name of Toronto’s Air Canada Centre, home of the city’s Maple Leafs hockey team and Raptors basketball team, to Scotiabank Arena.

Bank of Nova Scotia, also known as Scotiabank, and Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) said the name change will take effect next July. As part of the 20-year deal, the bank will invest in a digital partnership with MLSE and make charitable donations through the MLSE Foundation.

In addition to being the home of the National Hockey League’s Maple Leafs and the Raptors of the National Basketball Association for the past 18 years, the AC Centre is a well-established concert venue and has hosted artists such as Bob Dylan and Queen this year.

The new agreement is worth 10 times the current naming rights deal for the venue in which Air Canada pays C$4 million a year to have its name on the building.

Scotiabank has a history of investing in hockey, supporting more than 8,000 kids’ hockey teams in Canada. It also holds the naming rights to the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, which is home of the Calgary Flames of the NHL.

Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Bill Trott