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City beating the bushes in search of amphitheatre sponsor

By: Sudbury Northern Life Staff

 | Aug 05, 2014 - 4:00 AM |
The city is hoping to attract sponsorship funding for the Grace Hartman Amphitheatre at Bell Park. File photo.

The city is hoping to attract sponsorship funding for the Grace Hartman Amphitheatre at Bell Park. File photo.

Extends deadline a third time for companies to bid for sponsorship rights

Perhaps the third time will be the charm: Greater Sudbury has extended the deadline again for companies to show interest in sponsoring the Grace Hartman Amphitheatre.

The initial deadline was July 29, but was later extended to Aug. 19. On Monday, the deadline was extended a third time, to Sept. 16, in hopes of attracting interest.

The community services committee directed staff in January to seek sponsorships, in hopes of boosting revenue for the Bell Park landmark. Rebuilt at a cost of about $5 million in 2011, the facility now has 600 fixed seats, plus a grassy area on a hill behind the seats.

That's actually less room than the former amphitheatre had, but there are plans to add 500 more seats and a roof, at a cost of $5.2 million. More seating and a roof are key to attracting more events and boosting revenue, a business plan presented in January concluded. However, there is only about $1.4 million in capital funds available, leaving a deficit of about $3.8 million.

While unlikely to bring in enough to fund the capital work, councillors were hoping to improve the facility's bottom line. While annual expenses were estimated to run around $189,550, actual expenses were $242,614 in 2012, the first full year the renovated facility was open, declining to $218,298 in 2013. Revenues were estimated at $60,000, but only reached $42,154 in 2012, before rebounding to $60,842 last summer.

However, the tender makes it clear that the Grace Hartman name will be maintained. The sponsor's name may be included, however, and the rights include “premier placement of proponent’s services/products” and “premier advertising consideration.”

The amphitheatre hosts several events and festivals each year, the tender document says, including Northern Lights Festival Boréal, Sudbury SummerFest and the Vale Summer Concert Series.
Submissions are being accepted until 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 16. For more information, go to

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