Savannah Arena renamed Enmarket Arena



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US Savannah Enmarked Arena naming rights Image: Enmarked Arena

The name of the under-construction Savannah Arena (US) was unveiled on July 20th. It will be known as the Enmarket Arena and is scheduled to have a soft opening in January 2022.

The ‘WTOC’ stated that the naming rights for the new arena were unveiled by the City of Savannah and the firm they contracted to manage the arena – Oak View Group. Oak View Group was awarded that job by the last Council, and that means they handle things like food vendors, entertainment and even the naming rights process for the arena.

Savannah Arena (Enmarket Arena), which is currently under construction, will serve as “music, sports and entertainment destination”. The arena will also be home to the Savannah Pro Hockey Team, which is expected to play in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) beginning in 2022.

OVG Oak View Group, LLC is an American global advisory, development and investment company for the sports and live entertainment industries. Based in Los Angeles (US), it was formed on November 16th, 2015 by Tim Leiweke and his business partner, Irving Azoff. Leiweke is the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

The new Enmarket Arena is all set to transform downtown Savannah in Georgia, US, to a premium entertainment destination. Inspired by Savannah’s historic charm, the new arena will offer upscale hospitality clubs, suites and meeting rooms for a variety of group sizes. In addition to the 9,500-seat arena, the Enmarket Arena has endless indoor and outdoor event space options that equate to over 20,000 square feet of meeting space. This unique entertainment venue is slated to open in the beginning of 2022.

The Savannah Pro Hockey Team, an official affiliate to the National Hockey League (NHL) and the American Hockey League (AHL), will officially drop the puck and compete in the new Savannah Arena in October 2022.

The East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) is a mid-level professional ice hockey league based in Princeton, New Jersey (US), with teams scattered across the United States and Canada. It is a tier below the American Hockey League (AHL).

The ‘WTOC’ further stated that this multiyear deal naming rights partnership with Enmarket was announced on July 20th, just inside the south entrance to the 9,500-seat arena, which has about a half a year of work left before getting off the ground.

At a presser held on July 20th, Savannah Mayor Van Johnson explained why naming the new arena wasn’t up to the discretion of the City staff or Council members – “I just need to say for the record, the City of Savannah, we had no role in that. It is part of the contractual agreement that has been approved by the City Council prior to us. And the Council did not have a role. I’m not sure we should’ve had a role because it’s a financial negotiation.”

While the City didn’t have any role in pursuing or awarding the naming rights to the new arena, Mayor Johnson said it was important to see a local company become the partner, which he says reflects the Council’s goal of putting Savannah companies first.

Enthused Matt Clements, Vice-President, Marketing, Enmarket, “It’s exciting to finally be able to share the news with the Savannah community. It’s just a great statement of the company’s continued investment in the community. And we’re just tickled to see this thing come to fruition and open up next year and all the excitement that will come with this new arena for Savannah.”

Enmarket was founded in 1964 as Interstate Stations by Robert Demere in Savannah. Enmarket operated as Interstate Stations until 1990, when the name was changed to Enmark. In 2015, the company opened its first two stores branded as Enmarket.

The company operates 129 locations throughout Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina in the United States.

The Enmarket Arena is nearly weathered in, meaning the inside will be completely protected from the weather elements. So now, crews have essentially begun transitioning to the interior work like dry wall. Soon, they’ll also start pouring the floor where the ice will go for the hockey team, and then installing seats.

The City staffs says they’re approaching that phase of the project where they’ll have the highest number of workers inside the arena, about 300 workers a day starting in the next couple of weeks.

On the banner revealing the new name of the arena was a line saying – ‘Its Opening This Coming January’.

Remarked the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the City of Savannah, Bret Bell, “We expect full operations, complete project in February. We’re working with the operators to schedule a show at partial capacity in January, more details will come on that. But the operators, they want a chance to work out all the kinks, make sure that all the operations are working, have sort of a live dress rehearsal before we have a full-capacity show.”

Bordering the new arena are two major road widening projects, one to make a portion of Stiles Avenue four lanes, the other to make Gwinnett four lanes. Bell says while the goal is to have both road projects completely done by the time the arena opens, there’s a good chance they won’t be. But he says the roads will at least be partially opened to allow access to the new Enmarket Arena.

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