New deal reached with Bellco to rename Wells Fargo Theatre, pending City Council approval

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Although an official announcement from Arts & Venues Denver is due later this week, motorists and pedestrians passing on Speer Boulevard right now have no doubt noticed that the signage on the Colorado Convention Center theater is changing. Five years after acquiring the naming rights to the 5,000-seat venue, which is located inside the Colorado Convention Center, Wells Fargo has reached the end of its deal, and the facility is now being renamed the Bellco Theatre. "It's a poorly kept secret, I think," concedes Brian Kitts, director of marketing and communications for Arts & Venues, confirming that the theater is indeed being renamed. According to Kitts, a five-year deal has been reached with the Bellco Credit Union; it will take effect in December and run through 2017. As part of the $1.25 million deal, Bellco will have its name on all the signage, as well as its identity attached to promotional or advertising materials. Additionally, Bellco will have the "opportunity to activate around the theater area," as Kitts puts it, which essentially means the company will have a chance to interact with attendees of various events at the center. Kitts also says some small changes are being made to the interior to complement the company's brand.

The revenue generated by this re-branding effort, which is slightly more than the previous deal, will be applied to the center's general fund and be earmarked for helping offset the operational costs of the Colorado Convention Center, Kitts adds. The theater and the center are both city-owned facilities that are managed by SMG Worldwide Entertainment and Convention Venue Management.

The deal is still pending approval from Denver City Council, but that official nod should come within the next two weeks, prior to the new agreement taking effect.

"Finding good partners is tough business," Kitts concludes. "For someone to step up and support the city in this way is pretty extraordinary. We manage sponsorship programs at Red Rocks and all the other city-owned venues, and so to find someone that's willing to spend this type of money in support of a city facility is pretty terrific."

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