New name for the Kent Events Center

It's official: ShoWare Center at Kent is the name of what was formerly the Kent Events Center.

The Kent City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a naming-rights agreement with ShoWare by VisionOne, Inc., a company based in Fresno, Calif. ShoWare offers box-office services, including online ticket selling and distribution for events at sports arenas, concert clubs, casinos, theaters and performing arts centers.

ShoWare will pay the city $3.175 million for 10 years at slightly more than $300,000 per year, for the rights to have the center in its name.

In return, the city will pay for and install the ShoWare Center name and logo above the front entrance and on the upper left facade of the events center. The name also will be placed on the ice sheet and arena scoreboard as well as used in all marketing materials.

Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke congratulated Ben Wolters, city economic director; Tim Higgins, general manager for SMG, the operator of the arena; and Colin Campbell, vice-president of the Seattle Thunderbirds hockey team, for their work on the contract with ShoWare.

“I want to thank you for securing naming rights in this economic climate,” Cooke said at the Council meeting.

The $84.5 million events center will be the new home of the Thunderbirds, who now play at KeyArena in Seattle. The 6,025-seat arena is under construction at West James Street and Fifth Avenue North.

The city also will use the ShoWare ticketing system for Thunderbirds games and all other events at the arena.

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