Although county commissioners hinted 50 years was too long for a naming rights contract, they agreed to a deal of those terms with Farm Bureau. The Board of Commissioners Monday finalized the naming rights of the new livestock arena, approving the Stanly County Farm Bureau as the title sponsor for the facility in the exchange of $250,000. The Stanly County Farm Bureau Arena is set to be built on the grounds of the Stanly County Agri-Civic Center at the intersection of N.C. Highway 24-27 and Newt Road. Last week commissioners expressed optimism about the idea of Farm Bureau securing the naming rights, but balked at the notion the deal would hinge on a term of 50 years. Plans called for the naming rights contract to stay within industry standards, 5-10 years. Any dissension soon evaporated when the board learned that Farm Bureau would allow the county to pursue other sponsorship opportunities at the facility. “They (commissioners) went into the (Monday’s) meeting trying to negotiate the term limits,” said Candice Moffitt, director of the Agri-Civic Center. “But the Farm Bureau said ‘feel free to do as much fundraising as you want.’ It opened the door for us not to have exclusive naming rights. That changed the scope of the naming rights.” The board voted unanimously to grant the naming rights to the Farm Bureau. Language of the contract will specify what the Farm Bureau gets for the investment and what the county can do to increase sponsorships. “All Farm Bureau wanted is a sign on the arena and at the road,” Commissioner Peter Asciutto said. “There are a lot of other opportunities out there. We still have the opportunity to get a sponsor of the concession stand, bleachers or banners, plaques on the wall or names on bricks.” While Farm Bureau was the only applicant interested in the naming rights for the livestock arena, there have been several inquiries about other potential sponsorships, Moffitt said. Those inquiries have been in the range of $25,000-$50,000. The county had put the other sponsorship opportunities on hold, pending the decision on the naming rights issue. “Now that it has been hammered out we can move forward with other opportunities,” she said. The board was appreciative of Farm Bureau’s financial commitment as a significant step to complete the funding of the livestock arena. “We are very appreciative of Farm Bureau’s generosity and continued support and look forward to a mutually-beneficial partnership for many years,” said Tony Dennis, board chairman. The preliminary estimated cost of the project is $750,000, whereas Farm Bureau’s commitment of $250,000 will fund approximately one-third of the total cost. “Several of our board members currently serving were involved in the building of the Agri-Civic Center that our community enjoys today,” said Charles Herlocker, chairman of Stanly County Farm Bureau. “Stanly County Farm Bureau has worked diligently since that time to promote agriculture in Stanly County. I am proud that our organization is in a position to take the lead in the promotion of this livestock arena that will be a great investment in the future of our children and agriculture in Stanly County.” Staff and volunteers of the Arena Steering Committee have been working in recent months to seek private funding for the facility to augment the $250,000 commitment the Board of Commissioners made in June. In addition to the Farm Bureau and Commission’s pledges, other donations and pledges to date include: Stanly County Cattlemen’s Association — $10,000; Stanly County Convention & Visitors Bureau — $10,000; Stanly County Farm Bureau — $2,500; H.D. Efird — $2,500; and Stanly County Youth Livestock Association — $1,500. Contributions to the arena at any level are welcome and appreciated. For more information about the Stanly County Farm Bureau Arena, contact Moffitt at (704) 986-3666 or cmoffitt@stanly countync.gov. To submit story ideas, contact Ritchie Starnes at (704) 982-2121 ext. 28 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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