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Santa Ana Star Center changes name as deal expires

The Pueblo of Santa Ana and the Tamaya Enterprises Inc. Board of Directors have decided not to renew naming rights at the Santa Ana Star Center. The center’s name will be changed. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

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 go to replacing signage on the events center and a marquee on Unser Boulevard, Garcia said.

The Pueblo of Santa Ana and the Tamaya Enterprises Inc. 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 this month, Garcia said.