Kingston City Council is set to consider a new name for its Large Venue Entertainment Centre, currently named the Leon’s Centre, Kingstonist has learned. The naming rights for the LVEC have been up for grabs since July of this year, after the City of Kingston announced it would be soliciting renewed bids for the name.
“The City of Kingston, in partnership with the Kingston Frontenacs, is bringing forward a new naming rights partner for the Kingston Large Venue Entertainment Centre for approval by Kingston City Council at its Tuesday, Dec. 19 meeting,” the City of Kingston confirmed to the Kingstonist on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023 following our inquiries.
“An expression of interest for naming rights was issued and after consideration and review, Slush Puppie Place is the proposed new name of the venue,” the City of Kingston revealed in its statement. “The naming provides unprecedented exposure and brand recognition in one of Canada’s most vibrant facilities and is supported through partnerships amongst the Kingston Frontenacs, Slush Puppie Canada and the City of Kingston.”
Slush Puppie Canada Inc., established in 1975, is well-known for its production of the Slush Puppie frozen drink, as well as Thelma’s Old Fashioned Lemonade and Iced Cappuccino, among others. The company operates a production and bottling plant in Gatineau, Québec and has a network of distributors nationwide.
The proposed 15-year agreement entails a $135,000 per year commitment by Slush Puppie Canada to support ongoing programming at the venue, the City said. The exact financial terms of the agreement have not been revealed.
This naming rights agreement for the arena that houses the Frontenacs hockey team would be the first of its type in Ontario for Slush Puppie, and only the second one for them in Canada. In August 2021, the company inaugurated the Slush Puppie Centre in Gatineau, Québec, home of the Gatineau Olympiques.
“For nearly 50 years, Slush Puppie has been part of Canada’s hockey heritage. This partnership highlights the long-standing love story between Slush Puppie and sports fans and participants from coast to coast to coast. It is an honour for Slush Puppie Canada to partner with the City of Kingston, a community rich in history. This second Slush Puppie venue will continue to serve as a hub for sporting events, concerts and cultural experiences, contributing to the vibrancy of the Kingston community,” said Jean-Rock Beaudoin, president of Slush Puppie Canada.
The venue, with a seating capacity of up to 6,700 spectators, serves as the home of the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and annually hosts a multitude of other events, including concerts and other sporting events.
“The Kingston Frontenacs are excited to work alongside the Slush Puppie team as the new naming rights partner at our home arena,” said Nicole Kemp, General Manager, Business Operations, Kingston Frontenacs. “We believe that Slush Puppie will be a great partner for many years to come.”
“The large venue entertainment centre has a history of naming rights partners since its opening in 2008,” said Lanie Hurdle, Chief Administrative Officer at the City of Kingston. “We look forward to the continued animation of this incredible venue through the well-established, family-friendly Slush Puppie brand, and to working alongside the Slush Puppie team in partnership with the Kingston Frontenacs.”
If the terms of the agreement are approved by Kingston City Council at its meeting on Tuesday, Dec.19, the Slush Puppie Place name will be in place in early 2024.