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Pueblo leaves city naming-rights agreement

The days of the ‘Santa Ana Star’ name on this marquee and the City of Rio Rancho events center are ending, as the naming-rights agreement between the city and Pueblo of Santa Ana hasn’t been renewed. Gary Herron photo.

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — The City of Rio Rancho will spend about $20,000 to change the name of Santa Ana Star Center to Rio Rancho Events Center, on top of no longer having income from a naming rights agreement, said city spokeswoman Annemarie Garcia.

The $20,000 has already been factored in the city’s 2020-21 budget and will replace signage on the events center and a marquee on Unser Boulevard, Garcia said.

The Pueblo of Santa Ana and the Tamaya Enterprises Incorporated (TEI) Board of Directors decided to not renew the naming rights agreement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Santa Ana Star Casino Hotel Director of Marketing Tammy Neil.

“Although we have enjoyed our long-term relationship with the Star Center, the unfortunate closure of both the casino hotel and the Star Center due to the pandemic requires us to redirect our resources away from such sponsorships at this time,” said TEI Interim Chairwoman Melanie Martinez.

The city’s naming agreement with the Pueblo of Santa Ana expired June 30 and wasn’t renewed, said Alex Archuleta from Spectra Venue Management, which oversees the Rio Rancho Events Center for the city.

The pueblo paid the city $115,000 in its last naming agreement and has sponsored the center’s name since 2006.

“The City of Rio Rancho and Spectra Venue Management appreciate the Santa Ana Star Casino’s partnership and support of the events center over the years. Spectra Venue Management is currently pursuing a new naming rights partner for a long-term partnership,” Archuleta said.

The signage for the center will begin changing in early September, Garcia said.

“This has been a very difficult time for everyone, and our pueblo community has been severely impacted,” Martinez said. “For the immediate future, we are focusing on the basic needs of health and wellness for our community and pueblo members.”

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