nTelos Pavilion: Naming rights headed to telecom co.

The Charlottesville Pavilion is losing its old name. Henceforth the Downtown Mall landmark will be known by a more corporate (and curiously-capitalized) moniker: nTelos Wireless Pavilion. (It could be worse; the Nissan Pavilion in northern Virginia got a new name last year that sounds like something behind the counter at the local video store: Jiffy Lube Live.)

Although the site of the Charlottesville Pavilion is owned by the public, in 2004 the city leased the property to music/real estate mogul Coran Capshaw, via CEDA, the Charlottesville Economic Development Authority. And all along, Capshaw's company, Charlottesville Pavilion LLC, has held the naming rights.

"That's pretty standard in arenas and pavilions," says CEDA director Aubrey Watts. "That's part of the revenue stream for developers and promoters."

The name has to be approved by City Council and CEDA, and Watts sees no reason that won't happen– unless the sponsor happened to be Marlboro, Trojan, or another corporate brand that might be considered unseemly for children.

The city lent Capshaw $2.4 million to build the pavilion, contributed another $1 million, and demands that he operate the place for 20 years with at least 10 days a year for city-sponsored events, according to the lease [PDF below].

While Capshaw's company gets to keep 100 percent of whatever fee he charges nTelos for the sponsorship, Watts considers the pavilion a success for the city.

"It accomplished what we wanted," says Watts. "It brought a presence to the east end of the mall along with the Transit Center."

Where the city cashes in, he says, is from parking revenues and meals taxes. Restaurants estimate they have 20 percent more sales when there are events at the pavilion, says Watts, who adds that pavilion events bring potential shoppers back to the Mall, too.

"The spinoff money is important to the city," Watts says.

A March 24 letter from Pavilion general manager Kirby Hutto announces the nTelos deal, which runs for five years, and asks for expedited approval from City Council.

"We also ask that you treat this request as confidential," Hutto writes, "until such time as it is approved so that we can control the announcement of our new name." That letter is part of the agenda materials for the April 4 City Council meeting.

"Under our lease, we're required to provide written notice," explains Hutto. "And we did as soon as we had the deal with nTelos."

The lease gives City Council 30 days to approve.

"Everything should go smoothly," says Mayor Dave Norris of the deal, which was first publicly discussed in a broadcast news report. He expected that nTelos would win approval at the April 4 meeting, and indeed it did.

Hutto, who declines to say how much nTelos paid for the sponsorship, made plans to unveil the season's musical lineup at the nTelos Wireless Pavilion the next day. And he doesn't anticipate any confusion with another nTelos Wireless Pavilion in Portsmouth from addled online ticket buyers.

"Both websites clearly say Charlottesville and Portsmouth," says Hutto. "That's not really a concern."

37 comments

What "presence" did that awful transit center bring to the end of the Mall other than maybe ugliness and wastefulness? The latter was already abundant down there anyway due to the location of City Hall. Come to think of it, City Hall was already doing most of the heavy lifting in bringing ugliness that way too.

Restrooms.

There they go again (city officials), kissing Coran's butt.

I like the transit center. It's not red brick.

Wow, the City is at it again, giving away public assets to private entities. Privatize profits, and socialize risk. Let's do some Math:

The City paid 5000 a day to use it's own park? What was the real estate value on that park, had it been sold? A lot more than a million bucks, I can assure you of that. If the Pavilion was so great why not find the additional few milion it lent Coran? Why would the City lend any money to Coran anyways? Isn't that the part of a bank? Will the City loan me some money?

It's absolutely amazing to see the amount of fascism in a City supposedly run by Democrats.

It's time we updated the City code and forced these sorts of deals to pass a general referendum. Suddenly developers would find it much harder to get their sweet deals.

Th Pavilion has brought squat to the dowtown, but a bunch of noise, and a lot of rowdies from out of the area.

I am sure the restaurants that do 20% more business when there are concerts would disagree with all of you. The city would have screwed up the operation of the Pavillion, Coren knows what he is doing and it seems to be doing well.

Yeah, he knows what he's doing alright. Getting over on everyone for a buck.

I think the Pavilion has helped the mall but has the 2.4 million loaned to build the Pavilion been repaid to the City? I affectionatly call it the Lobster trap, and the transit station the spy lodge (ala the modern 1950s spy lodge/house at the top of Mt. Rushmore in North by Northwest movie). My company subsidizes everyone working there $100 a month to park in the garage but won't pay the $20 a month for a monthly transit pass. I haven't fussed with them over this just pay the 20, since I live so close to Court Square anyway. You can't buy a monthy pass on line but you can pay parking garage fees on line. I don't think the administrator is going to go in person each month to the spy lodge and buy me a pass or give me $20 a month in cash to use the transit even though I'm saving them $100 a month by not using the parking garage.

Hey, I didn't know that. So you can't buy CTS, oops, 'scuse me, I mean CAT bus passes on the world-class city website? I'm shocked! New name...new look...new ride, but looks like S.O.S. - different day.

As an out of towner who hits C'ville on a regular basis, I love the Pavillion! (The name change is irrelevant). Those of you who slam Coran Capshaw are simply jealous. And if you complain about the noise............if it's too loud, you're just too old!

Jealous of King Croesus from Norfolk? I don't think so.

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It is funny how people make their decisions based upon impressions. The Mall has benefitted from Capshaw's involvement in the Pavillion? I do not know but I do know that Friday's After Five used to run 24 to 26 weeks a year and it was hard to get a seat in most restaurants, now it only runs only 15 weeks.

Name changes are a curious thing in a community where many still refer to the grocery store in Crozet as the IGA. Charlottesville Pavilion is a name that reflects the community; the new moniker does not. And if you don’t know anything about nTelos the new name makes it sound like you have a wireless pavilion in town. What is that, a pavilion without wires? Further research of nTelos shows commercials picturing Bourbon Street in New Orleans, or Las Vegas, but even though your phone might work there, they have no physical stores in those locations, and if your phone breaks, you’ll have to come home to get it fixed or replaced. Kind of an odd approach at branding in a world where people don’t really care about the name of the cellular carrier, they just want their phone to work and they want the coolest/newest phone. Need an iphone you’ll have to go to A&T or Verizon. But I look forward to the next concert at the Charlottesville Pavilion. “What did they change the name to again?” “Oh yeah, I remember now. Please pass the chicken from the IGA.”

Dahmius - Dig deep enough and you can find dirt on anyone - everyone but you and your family I am sure. I just hope it makes you feel like a better person to muckrake. Capshaw has developed this area and is involved with many good causes. The Pavilion is a welcomed addition to this town by many and for good reason.

Dig up dirt on me and my family? Honey, all you'd have to do is shuffle your feet around a little bit. Not sayin' the man ain't done no good. Just sayin' accessory to murder ain't jaywalkin'. K?

Whatever they call it, I sure have enjoyed it. Not all the performers are my cup of tea, but for the shows that I have attended, it's been a lot of fun. If they were to improve anything, I would suggest having more and better food options.

C-ville Eye- Looking on their website it seems that Fridays After Five runs from April 15 until Sept 9 this year. By my count, that is 22 weeks. What calendar are you using?

I am sure the restaurants that do 20% more business when there are concerts would disagree with all of you. The city would have screwed up the operation of the Pavillion, Coren knows what he is doing and it seems to be doing well.

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The taxpayer spending million and millions of dollars and giving up it's park so a few restaurants can get better sales a few nights a week and a single business entity? Sounds like a pretty poor deal for the taxpayer. I went downtown long before Capshaw showed up, and the restaurants were packed at Fridays After Five.
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As an out of towner who hits C'ville on a regular basis, I love the Pavillion! (The name change is irrelevant). Those of you who slam Coran Capshaw are simply jealous. And if you complain about the noise............if it's too loud, you're just too old!

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Right. So if its not in your backyard, then it's great. You must be one of those young whippersnappers who has trashed their hearing.

On word: NIMBY.

nTelos is an awkward name for a phone company, much less the Pavilion, which is one of my favorite things in Cville, second only to the Jefferson.

Neil Young renamed the Nissan Pavilion as the "Toyota Pagoda". Maybe next time Neil does Cville he can come up with some similar here.

Trojan, or another corporate brand that might be considered unseemly for children.<<<<<

I thought "we" were pushing Trojans (and other brands) to youngsters.

No problem with Capshaw being contracted to manage the Pavilion, but a big problem with any government getting into the business of lending money, or sharing ownership on a public space.

The Pavilion is only designed for amplified music, which really defeated the opportunity for a diverse group of performances.

LOL. The name change really doesn't matter. And to those who don't like the Pavilion, I give you David Byrne, Lucinda Williams, Wilco (x2), Pixies, Levon Helm, John Hiatt, John Fogerty, Rufus Wainwright, DBT, My Morning Jacket, etc,etc and I know I'm leaving out on a ton of other great shows. For those that enjoy music, it's been a wonderful addition. For those that don't like music, well, it's only used 30-45 day per year.

very convenient to have a secret negotiation on public issues. if it's such a great idea to give tenants 20 year leases, why don't more landlords do it? because it's not. its value is when it's sold to someone else, say Vitamin Water. i mean if anyone should get naming rights it's the now named Virginia Eagle Company but because they sell beer not phones they're a bad influence somehow?they've stuck by the Friday shows through thick and thin. why do you think people go to the concerts? cheap beer. also food concessions should be open to local vendors if only to create a revenue stream that actually helps local businesses instead of the fantasy downtown mall restaurant benefit. if you need a loan open up your books as a matter of public record to prove it, the don't cry foul when the city comes up with their own revenue stream ideas to defray the costs associated with loaning money at budget rates. just ask 5-guys or enoteca if the pavillion has helped them. there are other businesses other than bars and restaurants downtown. can you imagine "the At&T Woodstock Concerts @ Yazgers Farm" or "The WholeFoodsBonnarooiPad Concert Series?" there should be a stronger public component as the pavillion matures, not less, to keep up with rising costs, including financing millionaires on the cheap, and if anything a greater emphasis on place as in "Charlottesville Pavillion" not nTelosPavillion because they have risked nada. taxpayers need more serious negotiators or an agent (maybe Coran would agree to it) before we're all walking around "the MusicToday-nTelos-Cheetos-PapaJohn's Downtown Mall". there's value in our city's name and should not be discounted only to have it licensed for the benefit of an already very profitable enterprise.

this should've been discussed publicly and not at the end when it's a done deal. it should be revenue positive (demonstrably not fantasy) and sunset within a few years to keep up with costs. don't forget nTelos will be bombarding all those smartphones with offers in a very clever way and getting paid by advertisers to do so. only cville will left holding the bag again, like the hotel to nowhere.

You’re right Greg.

And by the same logic, if you apply for WIC, fuel assistance, food stamps, public housing, or any other form of welfare, you should have to publicly explain why you can’t take care of yourself. And submit to weekly drug screenings.

It should be The People's Pavilion.

I enjoy the Pavilion. But it looks like a Hefty bag. Maybe future sponsorship possibilities?

One positive aspect of the Charlottesville Pavillion being renamed nTelos Pavillion: Mainstream acts will get bargain rates when they phone in their performances.

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nTelos filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2003 thus cheating the shareholders out of their investments. The Charlottesville Pavilion is a place where creative artists come to preform, so I don't really see how a symbol of corporate failure is in harmony with the venue. This decision sounds like it is a few octaves short of harmonious resonance.

The Levys kept the naming rights to Monticello ("if you wanted to complain you should have done when the contract was made" and they are following the lead and taking a fee and renaming the house nTelos-Monticellos.

Maybe it should be called "nTelos pavillion brought to you by the friends of Biscuit Run"

DF,

LOL. The name change really doesn't matter. And to those who don't like the Pavilion, I give you David Byrne, Lucinda Williams, Wilco (x2), Pixies, Levon Helm, John Hiatt, John Fogerty, Rufus Wainwright, DBT, My Morning Jacket, etc,etc and I know I'm leaving out on a ton of other great shows.

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Yeah, the Flamming Lips I think. They could be heard all the way over on St Charles St, from what friend who lives there told me.

This has nothing to do with liking music, and your suggestion that that'
s what it is really only shows what a small selfish and ignorant person you are. Don't worry, this is Albemarle and Charlottesville, full of selfish narrow minded people like you.

The Pavilion is hardly the end all to musical experiences as far as I am concerned, and I find myself attending plenty of them without the Pavilion.

Ron,

And submit to weekly drug screenings.

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Absolutely. Starting with all the musicians who play at the Pavilion. My bet is the place would be silent all but one or two days a year.

Haha. The name change really isn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Are some of you saying restaurants get less business when concerts are being held at the Pavilion? I find that hard to believe. My routine: dinner before the show, drinks after.

OT

They can do all the drugs they want. They work for a living and can afford it. That's quote different from sitting on one's butt doing bong hits at 9:00 am on Tuesday and demanding that everyone who's working at 9:00 am on Tuesday feed you and your kids.

Ron,

They can do all the drugs they want. They work for a living and can afford it.

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These musicians are doing bong hits at 9AM, sitting on their butts. I know plenty who can't feed their kids off of their music, and welfare picks them up.

By the way, CEO's sit on their butts and do drugs too. They make bad decisions, and get corporate welfare. I guess you are cool with that. They wear Armani suits so they must work for a living, right?

Our illustrious CEO, the POTUS- has admitted to doing cocaine...........think that has stopped? Doesn't look like it......