In a news release ON APRIL FIRST that will be released later today, Maple Leaf Foods will take over the naming rights of the Air Canada Centre, just in time for the Maple Leafs centennial season.
"This is a partnership that is a long time coming," an anonymous MLSE insider says, "With our name, theirs, I mean, it makes sense, right? We already have Maple Leaf Square out side the building, and the condo development across the street. We want to see more synergy with our properties."
"The new name for the home of the Maple Leafs and Raptors will bring back fond memories for many Maple Leafs fans," added Maple Leaf Foods spokesperson. "I can happily announce that starting April 1st, 2016, Maple Leaf Gardens will be alive once more!"
The new name for the Air Canada Centre will be a nice addition to the Maple Leafs centennial celebrations, bringing back a classic name while keeping the lucrative practice of corporate naming rights alive.
Also in the deal is for the new Maple Leaf Gardens to serve Maple Leaf Food products. All hot dogs are now Shopsy's & Schneiders, depending on how long you like your wieners. All chicken will be supplied by Mina, the Halal wing of Maple Leaf Foods chicken division, so all fans can enjoy the products, and sandwiches will be filled with Maple Leaf Natural Selections deli meats.
In a separate release to come Air Canada cites increased costs of fuel as a reason to not renew the sponsorship, needing to cut costs to stay competitive, and didn't feel the cost of retaining the naming rights was worth the expense.