With a check of $400,000 and ceremonial handshake, Schwan Buick GMC Cadillac garnered the indoor naming rights to the future Starion Sports Complex in Mandan on Thursday.
In its effort to help the Mandan Hockey Club reach the halfway mark to its $1 million commitment in private project funds, Schwan’s brands will be on two ice rinks, a community room and Zamboni.
With this week’s announcement, Ice Arena I will be known as the Schwan Cadillac Arena. Ice Arena II will be known as the Schwan Buick GMC Arena and the label of Schwan Buick GMC Cadillac will go to the facility’s community room. Starion Financial was previously awarded the naming rights to the complex’s exterior.
Steve Schwan, president of the car dealership, said the contribution is a way of giving back to the community that has supported the business for 18 years.
“I can’t think of a better way of giving back to the community of Mandan,” Schwan said. “We’re going do to that by giving to this great sports complex.”
The donation pushes the project forward, according to Park Board President Jason Arenz, adding that fundraising efforts are now 40 percent of the way to reaching the $1 million goal.
“Once we starting digging dirt, that’s when I will get excited. That will create a buzz,” Arenz said.
Mandan Parks and Recreation Director Cole Higlin said excavation and groundbreaking of the complex is pending in the next 10 days.
A majority of the complex, to be located south of the Tesoro Plant and north of Interstate 94, is being paid for with a special .75 percent sales tax approved by voters in June.
The Mandan Hockey Club has agreed to pay $500,000 for its private commitment this April and and a second $500,000 installment April 1, 2017.
Rich Garman, president of the Mandan Hockey Club, praised the car dealership for stepping up before it had to go knocking on a lot of doors.
“It’s fantastic. We were gearing up for what we thought would be an incredibly big project. They called us,” said Garman, adding that the move generated followup donations from others. “About 80 percent of the naming rights are complete.”
The proceeds from the sales tax also will pay for new ball fields that will replace the Lefty Faris baseball and track field in south Mandan. The older track and field will remain in place until the new facility opens by the fall of 2017.
For more information about the sports complex progress, visit www.StarionSportsComplex.com.