Goodbye Tweeter Center, hello Comcast Center
Goodbye Tweeter Center, Hello Comcast Center.
The concert venue’s name change became official Wednesday, June 4 when it was formally announced that the Comcast Corporation had signed a 10-year lease for the naming rights in an agreement with the venue’s owner, Live Nation.
“We’re very excited about how we’re going to expand this relationship with Comcast over the next 10 years,” said Don Law, president of Live Nation New England.
Bruce Montgomery, who has been general manager of the Mansfield concert venue since its 1986 opening, said the job of locating all the Tweeter Center signs, on highways and the like, and replacing them with Comcast Center signs was well under way.
Tweeter, a Canton-based company, in the face of financial difficulties, decided last year to pull out of naming rights deals it had at the Mansfield venue and at three other outdoor concert sites. That agreement reduced Tweeter’s total future payments by about $7 million at the time.
A festive reception at the newly named Comcast Center was held on Wednesday night, immediately before the Eric Clapton concert, to celebrate the new merger.
“How cool is this?” said Thomas Coughlin, regional vice president for Southeastern Massachusetts, in addressing the crowd gathered for the name-changing ceremony.
Coughlin said Comcast is very happy to be associated with Live Nation, and plans on maintaining the same rapport with the local community as has been enjoyed in the past.
“Everything you love about it will stay the same,” Coughlin said. “It will remain a vital part of the community.”
Officials were mum about the amount Comcast paid for the naming rights and could not be charmed by an Eric Clapton-loving reporter to divulge the sum, calling it “undisclosed.”
The open-air amphitheater, which holds 19,900 people and hosts 35 to 40 concerts a year, has been named the Tweeter Center for the past nine years. Before the naming rights competition went into play, the venue had been named the Great Woods Center for the Performing Arts.
In his remarks at the reception, Montgomery spoke of the amphitheater’s history and credited Law with having had the vision for the venue’s current landscape — mature, green trees virtually everywhere.
Both men said that the goal of the venue is to get even greener and more environmentally friendly.
“We’re going to try to make this as organic as possible,” Law said.
In keeping with the green theme, the representatives of Live Nation and Comcast solidified their relationship with an Arbor Vite tree, bagged and ready to be planted, which they said they “will be planted in recognition of our partnership.”
Coughlin said he looked forward to coming back in 10 years and seeing how high the tree had grown.
Law recalled the location of the Comcast Center was chosen because of its strategic location — a midpoint in the circle of Providence, Boston, Worcester and Cape Cod. He noted that there are seven million people located in that circle.
The concert venue is now “the most successful summer amphitheatre in the country,” Law said.
Representatives for both organizations expressed delight with the new partnership.
Marc Abend, the regional vice president of Live Nation Alliances, said “we’re very pleased to have Comcast as our name and title here. It’s a very unique relationship, one that offers a lot of opportunities for Live Nation and for Comcast.”
Coughlin said Comcast is a local company, with call centers located in Plymouth and Waltham, Massachusetts as well as Enfield, Connecticut. Those call centers employ 7,000 people, he said, noting that Comcast strives to employ people locally rather than outsourcing to other locations.
Though Clapton, a living guitar legend, was not at the renaming ceremony, he did the festivities justice by putting on a rocking two-hour set, with a mix of blues and rock ‘n roll favorites.
Law pointed out that “the good news” is that Eric Clapton is as popular a draw as he’s ever been.