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The Anaheim City Council has approved a deal to allow Anaheim Arena Management, the operator of the Honda Center, negotiate and sell the naming rights to the city’s signature transportation hub, known as the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center, or ARTIC.

Under the one-year agreement, the city would retain 80 percent of revenue from the corporate sponsorship in the first year and 85 percent of revenues thereafter.

The city has struggled to find a naming rights sponsor for the facility. It was relying on naming rights in part to pay for the $185 million transit hub.

The funds from the naming rights deal will go toward operating costs for ARTIC, which has operated on a deficit since it opened to the public in 2014.

In November 2013, the city solicited naming rights bids and received just two proposals, according to a staff report.

They hired the Ohio-based company the Superlative Group and paid them $129,000, but the group was unsuccessful in finding a sponsor.

In July 2016, the city solicited bids again, and of the twelve companies that downloaded and reviewed the materials, none submitted an application, according to the staff report.

The city re-issued the bid in February 2017 and again the next month, before receiving proposals from Anaheim Arena Management and the Superlative Group.

Staff recommended the contract go to Anaheim Arena Management, which has sold naming rights sponsorships for the interior of the Honda Center. The Superlative Group was also asking to keep more revenue from the sponsorship.

The annual operating deficit for ARTIC, which for the past two fiscal years has been paid for by Anaheim Resort area businesses, is now paid for out of the city’s general fund, after a small panel of resort business owners voted earlier this year not to subsidize the transit hub. 

In March, the city sold the Honda Center the right to sell advertisements on two electronic billboards in front of the train station. That deal will generate at least $80,000 annually.

Contact Thy Vo at tvo@voiceofoc.org or follow her on Twitter @thyanhvo.

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