Molson Ballroom anyone?

The redevelopment of the MacEwan Ballroom will result not only in a newer facility but also a renaming of the room itself.

Molson Canada, the university’s main draft supplier, will provide funding, and to secure this funding and other capital costs from Molson, the Students’ Union will rename it the Molson Ballroom.

The predicted expense currently stands at $150,000, with funds from a $75,000 government grant and the remainder being supplied by Molson. However, some are still hesitant about the notion of corporate sponsorship.

“At first, I was really against it being renamed,” said Students’ Union Events Commissioner Jennifer Smith. “Right now I’m kind of torn because on one hand I don’t want students to pay for the redevelopment, but at the same time students put so much money into this building every year. So I think if anything, it should be named after them.”

However, SU Vice-President of Operations and Finance Gavin Preston holds a different position.

“I understand where some people get angry at the aesthetics of the ballroom being called the Molson Ballroom,” he explained. “But when I start looking at the fact that the union can start to develop some of the building’s areas and doesn’t have to use students money to do so, and can improve its services to students in the long run, it seems like a good trade off.”

Other issues are whether or not punk shows will still take place in the ballroom, and if certain shows, touring under different beer labels, will want to book in a facility named after a chief competitor.

“This is just going to cover some of the capital costs, the operations of the ballroom will still continue,” informed Preston. “And the way we worked it out is that there is no exclusivity on the ballroom so that means Labatt, or whoever, could go into the ballroom if they wanted to.”

Preston recognizes corporate sponsorship in an area such as the ballroom may spark anger. Nonetheless, he emphasizes the fact that no student money is going into the redevelopment and that this renaming will not have an effect on venues to come.

“I think students’ reactions will be pretty positive,” he stated. “I think some of the main issues people have with corporate sponsorship is exclusivity, but there is none of that going on here. It doesn’t restrict us in any matter.”

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