NAMPA – Get ready for change, the Idaho Center has a new name. Come February 1st, it will be called the Ford Idaho Center. The announcement came Tuesday morning to an excited crowd on the floor of the Idaho Center.
The deal is worth $1 million over five years. This deal was months in the making, starting with former Mayor Tom Dale. Many hope adding Ford to the name will make a huge difference.
The Idaho Center has now gone the way of many other venues across the state and country - adding naming rights and bringing in money.
"It's actually a significant amount of money to help with a budget like that, and the use of that money can be used in many different ways to help even more," said Idaho Center General Manager Craig Baltzer.
Like many similar venues in the industry, Baltzer says the last few years have been rocky.
"Yeah, it's a little bit difficult, but I believe this is our first step in changing things around and making some things better," said Baltzer.
That is a step in the right direction for Nampa's new Mayor Bob Henry as well. The city currently subsidizes the Idaho Center $1.5 million a year. Henry wants to see the venue less dependent on tax dollars.
"It doesn't fix the problem but we're all aware of what the issues are. Craig [Baltzer] is working overtime to get venues in here," said Henry.
Both the mayor and Baltzer hope Ford will make things easier for them.
"That gives us credibility and it helps us as we're attracting businesses and venues that this is the Ford Idaho Center," said Henry.
The deal with Ford is a local one, each of the six Treasure Valley Ford stores pay a part of the contract.
"Treasure Valley is Ford country, I mean everywhere you go, just look and you'll see a big blue oval, and we wanted to put another big blue oval up somewhere and so we got one up here on the Idaho Center," said Lithia Ford of Boise General Manager Jim Sterk.
The Ford Idaho Center is made up of four different venues. The Ford Arena which holds 12,500 people, the Ford Amphitheater which holds 11,000 people, the Ford Sports Complex and the Ford Idaho Horse Park.
The signs should be up on the buildings in the next few weeks.
The cost of the transition is about $150,000.