Tampere Arena-Uros deal fizzle out


Tampere Arena ends naming right agreement with Uros Image: Uros Live

Tampere Arena’s (Finland) Board of Directors has decided to terminate its naming-rights sponsorship agreement with the Finnish technology firm Uros.

The ‘yle.fi’ stated that instead, the Board announced that the name of the multipurpose sporting arena – set to open in December – will revert back to the original Tampere Deck Arena.

The Tampere Deck Arena, and formerly known commercially as UROS LIVE, is an indoor arena at Tampere in Finland that is currently under construction. It is planned to replace the old Tampere Ice Stadium. It will host ice hockey games and will be the home of Ilves and Tappara of the SM-liiga – the top professional ice hockey league in Finland. The project was approved by the City Council of Tampere on May 19th, 2010.

The Tampere Deck Arena is a 13,455-capacity multipurpose stadium located in the center of the City (Tampere), and is scheduled to open to the public later this year when the two Finnish Elite League (SM-liiga) ice hockey games are played on December 3rd and December 4th.

An official opening ceremony is also scheduled for December 15th.

The ‘yle.fi’ further stated that in a statement released recently, the Board said the decision was based on Uros’ weak financial position and the negative publicity surrounding the company, which was also impacting the public perception of the arena.

Recently, the State investment agency Business Finland revealed that Uros had deliberately withheld information and provided false details in order to secure millions of euros in product development funding during the early 2010s.

It is also reported that the firm has failed to pay several small bills since July.

The arena’s CEO Marko Hurme said this left the Board with serious doubts about the tech company’s ability to meet the financial obligations of the naming-rights contract.

Hurme stated in the Board’s press release, “For these reasons, the arena company does not see any opportunities for continued cooperation, so in this situation we think the decision is the only correct one.”

Hurme said that the situation was “under control” despite the termination of the contract, and the Board is in no hurry to find an alternative sponsor.

He added, “We do not have any compelling need to find a replacement immediately,” adding that the Board will now focus on the completion of the arena’s construction and subsequent opening.

Hurme continued, “We would like this discussion to go away, as it does not directly pertain to the arena company. The naming-rights agreement is a great opportunity for cooperation, but let’s see what the future holds. Now we will focus on the opening of the arena.”

Decision hailed

The City of Tampere, which is a partner in the arena project, welcomed the Board’s decision, but added that the situation was “regrettable”.

Stated City CEO Juha Yli-Rajala, “We have been informed of the decision and we are sorry that such a situation has happened, but we understand the Board’s position. As a City, we are very pleased that the construction and preparation of the arena is now continuing at a good pace and that the naming issue will be removed from the agenda.”

Tampere Mayor Anna-Kaisa Ikonen (NCP) also tweeted her support for the decision – “It is good that a solution has been found to an unfortunate situation. Fortunately, the arena itself is well under way and we will soon be able to enjoy its great facilities and events as planned.”

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