On the heels of the Arizona Sundogs canceling their hockey season comes news that the name of the Prescott Valley arena where they played could be changing.
Tim Coury, owner of Tim's Auto Group, has been paying $175,000 per year for the naming rights of Tim's Toyota Event Center.
Gary Spiker, general manager of the event center, said the contract expires on Sept. 1.
"Hopefully, Tim stays" as the naming-rights entity, Spiker said.
Contacted by the Courier, Coury said, "Toyota and I are still considering whether or not we want to continue our naming rights agreement with the events center.
"We want all of our investments in the community to benefit the most people in the greater Prescott area, and haven't made a final determination if having our names on the event center fulfills that need."
If Coury chooses not to renew the contract? "We have a couple people we're looking at that could work out," Spiker said.
Spiker said that, while negotiations with Coury continue, he is pursuing other potential corporate sponsors. "Some of the folks we're talking to are looking for five- to seven-year (naming rights)," Spiker said.
On Thursday, Sundogs owner Brad Fain announced the team would not play in a season scheduled to begin this October. The Sundogs have played home games in Tim's Toyota Center for the last eight Central Hockey League seasons.
Even without the hockey team, Spiker said the event center - which also hosts concerts like the recent Ted Nugent show and special events like this weekend's "Biggest Yard Sale in Town," the Sept. 6-7 Prescott Valley Rotary Balloon Fest and the Sept. 25-28 Yavapai Fair - will be busy.
"If I don't have hockey, that's about 12 weekends," said Spiker, noting there were only eight weeknight hockey games scheduled.
"I've had requests already for some of those dates ... Another gun show, we'll do a couple more concerts, I'll do a concert at Christmas. I also have a group that wants to do a big wedding show."
And there's still hope for Prescott Valley sports fans. "Today, I had a call from a junior hockey team out of Phoenix," Spiker said on Friday afternoon.
In addition to who will be performing on Main Street, another question now looms: What will the place be called?
If no one signs a naming contract, "We'd probably call it the Prescott Valley Event Center - that's what it was originally going to be called," said Spiker.
The pitch to companies interested in the name rights: "They get a lot of advertising, they get a suite. They get signage inside, they get signage on the ice. When you add up the value, it's about $360,000."
But, unless another team comes forward, no hockey.