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Mosaic Backs Off Permanent Naming Rights at Riverwalk

The phosphate mining company said it will retain naming rights to the Riverwalk amphitheater for 15 years, after council members object to permanent naming rights.

The Mosaic Company Foundation has agreed to limit the number of years it will hold naming rights for the amphitheater at Riverwalk, currently known as the Mosaic Amphitheater.

The foundation, through Realize Bradenton, gave the Downtown Development Authority $95,000 for operations and maintenance of the amphitheater, and in return the authority offered to name the amphitheater for the Mosaic Company in perpetuity.

After two council members objected to permanent naming rights, the foundation sent a letter to Realize Bradenton at the end of last week, informing the organization that it would limit the naming rights to a 15-year term.

"The Mosaic Company Foundation has become aware that there were concerns expressed by City Council members at the last meeting about the length of this naming opportunity," Chris Lambe, the foundation's executive director wrote in the letter. "As you know, we did not request permanent naming rights, and we will be happy to accept naming rights for 15 years."

The authority's original grant application to Mosaic never included any mention of naming rights. But the online application went through several revisions which eventually included an offer for naming rights.

The Authority brought the issue to the City Council at the last minute when it realized any naming rights would need City Council approval. At that point signs and brochures were designed for Riverwalk, which included directions to the Mosaic Amphitheater. Some of the brochures are already available to the public.

Council members Marianne Barnebey and Harold Byrd both voted against permanent naming rights. Councilmen Gene Gallo and Patrick Roff voted in favor of the proposal prompting a tie. Mayor Wayne Poston cast the deciding vote in favor of naming the Mosaic Amphitheater.

While the foundation got the majority vote, leaders decided that they would limit the term to foster a better partnership.

"We are proud to continue our partnership with Realize Bradenton which is as committed as we are to the strength and vibrancy of the Bradenton Community," Lambe's letter read.

In the meantime, the foundation is set to review a $325,000 grant application this fall for tidal marshes included in Riverwalk Park.

Tony T September 26, 2012 at 01:14 PM
If this lame idea of permanent naming rights was not made public and there was not imput and outrage from the public about what a lame idea this was the Council would have "white washed it right through" just like they did with the Riversong development at the old "Sandpile".

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