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Naming rights at Civic Center shelved
McMinnville official Everett Brock.

A notion to garner interest in the Civic Center, now renamed Milner Recreation Center, by selling naming rights to rooms and courts has received a cool reception. 

“The only problem I have with it is that we just got through naming the (outdoor) tennis complex for somebody,” said Alderman Everett Brock. “We named a court for somebody. Now, if we sell rights right next to a tennis court that we honored somebody with, it kind of cheapens that.” 

Under consideration by the McMinnville Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Tuesday night was a measure to sell naming rights to allow people or businesses to sponsor rooms at the recreation center, such as the basketball court, wellness facility, tennis court, and conference room/ multipurpose room.

“I wasn’t thinking about the outdoor tennis court,” said Mayor Ben Newman, who proposed the idea. “Just the rooms inside the complex and the indoor tennis court. This isn’t meant to rename the courts in the Dunlap Tennis Complex.”

Brock replied, “There are other courts that we don’t have an individual name on. If somebody wanted an outside court, it would be right next to someone we honored with a court. Now, this guy has paid money for a court. It doesn’t seem right, but again, that’s only one instance. Maybe other things would be appropriate.”

The measure was tabled for later consideration, but only to allow city administrator Nolan Ming time to generate a price list and sponsorship length for board members to review.

“At this point, I don’t have a great idea of what those levels would be,” said Newman. “Nolan looked around to see what other policies are. Did you find any numbers?”

Ming replied, “We did. We have some numbers, but I haven’t had the time to put it all together to present it. We can try to get something together in the next couple of weeks and bring that to the next meeting.”

Newman proposed the idea as a way to draw attention to the newly renovated facility, as well as generate revenue.

“I wanted to bring this up. It’s something that I’ve thought about as a way for people to buy into what we’re doing. I think it could help in some of the cost, but not as much as what you would see in Chattanooga, Nashville or some of the large municipalities, but I think it does help people buy in to the new facility,” said Newman. 

The next regular session of the board is Aug. 25.