WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER
April 23, 2010
The president of the Qwest Center Omaha said Thursday that he
wants to retain the facility's name, despite the company's
“I like ‘the Qwest Center Omaha,' ”
said Roger Dixon, who also serves as president of the
Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority, which
oversees the facility. “It is a brand that we're very proud of
and worked well with.”
Even so, the Qwest Center
could have a different name if the deal for CenturyTel Inc. to
purchase Qwest Communications goes through next year. The
purchase was announced Thursday.
In 2003, Qwest committed to pay $14 million over 15 years for
the facility's naming rights.
It will be up to CenturyTel to decide whether to keep the Qwest
• No name change: CenturyTel could decide to keep the Qwest name
for the company. If that happened, the convention center and
arena could remain the Qwest Center Omaha.
• CenturyTel Center, perhaps? CenturyTel could drop
the Qwest name. In that case, the convention center and arena
could also get a new name.
• Change only the company name: CenturyTel could, in theory,
drop the Qwest Communications name but keep the
However, “that wouldn't make much sense,” said Doug Parrott, a
The reason to buy naming rights is for marketing, he said. It's
about branding a company.
A spokeswoman for CenturyTel could not be reached for comment.
CenturyTel has, in some cases, changed the names of corporations
it has acquired.
If the convention center and arena's name were to change,
Qwest's contract with MECA requires that all related expenses be
paid by the company. That includes everything from new signs to
items such as trash cans, stationery and employee ID badges.
Such alterations would probably cost CenturyTel “well into six
figures,” Dixon said.
In addition to the Qwest Center Omaha, the names of two other
public venues are up in the air: Seattle's
Qwest Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks, and Qwest Arena in
“People don't like change,”
said. “It's as simple as that.”