SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The new Savannah venue now has a name after a chain of local convenience stores: Enmarket Arena.
Mayor Van Johnson and officials from Oak View Group, contracted to manage the 9,500-seat arena, unveiled the name Tuesday as part of a multi-year naming rights partnership with Enmarket.
“For us, it is about tourism and hospitality, but it’s also about community,” Johnson said of the venue. “When you see this, you also see a community being transformed.”
The Enmarket Arena promises to be a top-quality live entertainment destination for performers, attractions and more. Slated to open in 2022, the venue will also house a minor league hockey team.
Also announced this week, Oak View Group has partnered with Ticketmaster long-term on six new venues, including the Hostess City site.
Enmarket officials say they’ve been working on a partnership with the Oak View Group for some time now and are pleased to see it become a reality.
“We’re just tickled to see this thing come to fruition and open up next year and all the excitement that will come with this new arena for Savannah,” said Matt Clements, vice president of marketing for Enmarket.
There was reportedly some concern from members of the Savannah City Council surrounding naming rights. Earlier Tuesday, during a press conference, the mayor clarified the name is a contractual responsibility of the Oak View Group, not city staff or council.
“At the end of the day, the Oak View Group pays the City of Savannah for that arena, and they have to make that money to pay us,” Johnson said.
The mayor did raise his own concern about carrying on some elements of the Martin Luther King Arena in the Savannah Civic Center to the new site, namely the large portrait of the civil rights leader by the late Artie Milton.
“I would love to see that in our new arena once we have gotten to that point,” Johnson said, adding, “But other than that, the name comes with money, and the money comes to the city. We didn’t have a dog in that fight.”
Enmarket was founded in Savannah as Interstate Stations in 1964 by Robert Demere. The company now operates nearly 130 locations throughout Georgia and the Carolinas.