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Rimrock Auto Arena will probably be getting a new name.

News emerging from the county’s budget hearings this week is that Metra Park will be looking for a new naming sponsor for the arena.

Metra Park’s contract with Daktronics will end in May 2019, and Rimrock Auto has decided not to renew their option, announced Metra Park’s marketing director Ray Massie.

The county will be issuing a request for proposal (RFP) to obtain a new naming sponsor for the arena, which would become effective in June 2019. The RFP will be issued relatively soon, according to Yellowstone County Commissioners. Massie said that his preference would be to see a local company’s name on the arena but “but it would be irresponsible of us to make that deal at a rate that is not commensurate with the market.” The going rate for naming rights, he said, is about $1 per person of the population of the marketing area they serve.

All of the sponsorships at MetraPark will be expiring with the termination of Yellowstone County’s 10-year contract with Daktronics, which split the proceeds of sponsorship sales with the county, while Daktronics provided the signs, wiring, technology and software for video, lighting, scoreboards, etc.

Metra Park had been receiving about $80,000 a year from their split of the sales, which they have been putting into their capital improvement fund. Massie said that they expect to increase those revenues up to around $400,000 annually, now that the county-owned facility will retain the naming rights and manage their own sales. Between now and June 2019 Metra Park’s marketing department will be focused on selling sponsorships. While they anticipate being able to add more revenue to their bottom line, Metra Park will now be responsible for updating all the equipment and technology, so there will be some costs.

Massie told County Commissioners they wouldn’t be doing that all at once and he would develop a schedule for replacement of equipment and updating the technology. It was noted that much of the technology and equipment now sell for a fraction of what they did ten years ago.