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FirstOntario to be new name for Copps

 By Kevin Werner, News Staff

 Copps Coliseum is getting a new name.

Hamiltonpoliticians gave their approval at their Jan. 29 council meeting for Global Spectrum and FirstOntario Credit Union to sign a 10-year, $3.5-million deal to have the company’s name on the side of the 1985 arena.

Copps Coliseum will be named later this year FirstOntario Centre, and in smaller letters it will say ‘in honour of Victor K. Copps.’

Global Spectrum will be honouring one ofHamilton’s most popular mayors by naming the arena’s ice surface after Copps. The name will be placed at centre ice.

In addition, councillors are eager to find other venues, or facilities in Hamilton to name after Copps. Stoney Creek councillor Maria Pearson, who chairs the facilities naming subcommittee, said politicians will discuss the issue at their April meeting.

As part of the management agreement between the city and Global Spectrum established last year, council has the right to approve of a new name.

Councillors said the name change, although expected, was made it easier to accept after Global Spectrum officials contacted the Copps family, including former Hamilton Liberal MP and MPP Sheila Copps, and former city alderman Geraldine Copps to seek their approval. The name change, though, wasn’t universally agreed to by the Copps family, Ward 2 councillor Jason Farr said. Dr. Brenda Copps, he said, didn’t agree with the new name.

Stoney Creekcouncillor Brad Clark called the naming of the ice, and keeping the Copps name on the arena’s side a “reasonable” recognition. Renaming a facility can provoke deep-seated anger, most noticeable when Hamilton Health Sciences renamedHendersonHospitalthe Juravinski Cancer Centre, he said.

“This is an example of everybody working together,” saidClark. “I had real trepidation. It couldn’t have worked out more perfectly.”

Global Spectrum’s Scott Warren said the $350,000 annual revenue is a gross number. Some of the revenue will be used to replace the sign.

FirstOntario Credit Union is a Hamilton-based business that began in 1939 assisting Stelco workers.

Victor K. Copps served as Hamilton’s mayor from 1962 to 1976. He died in 1988.

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