Naming Rights Deal Means Steady Income for Amphitheater

By Dave Franzman, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The new riverfront amphitheater under construction in downtown Cedar Rapids now has a new name. And that also means a guaranteed stream of income for up to eight years.

The McGrath Automotive Group agreed to pay $75,000 per year for up to five years for naming rights to the new amphitheater. The deal is a guaranteed $375,000 for the city entertainment facility with an option for three more years. The facility would bear the name McGrath Amphitheater, City of Cedar Rapids.

Pat McGrath, of McGrath Automotive, said the family-operated business was proud to be associated with what he called a "family friendly" entertainment venue.

Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett said multi-year naming rights deals are perhaps even more important than one time donations for civic projects because it's a guaranteed source of income the facility can count on year after year to ease the burden on taxpayers.

The new McGrath Amphitheater is slightly behind original completion plans due to the wet weather this spring. VenuWorks says the facility is likely to have a "soft" opening in September with a limited number of events in 2013. There will be a full slate of entertainment in the spring and summer of 2014.

The Cedar Rapids city council is expected to formally approve the naming rights deal on July 9.
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