PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Amica Mutual Insurance Co. is expected to take over naming rights of the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, after two decades where the downtown facility came to be known simply as “The Dunk.”
Target 12 has confirmed the Lincoln-based insurance giant, with roughly $5.8 billion in assets, won a competitive bidding process to name the Providence entertainment facility, home to the Providence Bruins and the Providence College men’s basketball team.
The company is set to take over the contract from Dunkin’ — formerly known as Dunkin’ Donuts — which has held the naming rights since 2001 when the restaurant company signed a deal with the then-Providence Civic Center Authority.
A formal announcement is expected to be made over the next month, Target 12 has confirmed. The sources who confirmed the deal declined to be identified because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
It remains unclear what Amica plans to name the facility, as company spokesperson Brendan Dowding said the deal hadn’t been finalized yet. But it appears the deal could involve both The Dunk — once known as just the Civic Center — along with the connected Convention Center.
“We’re in active discussions with the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority about securing name rights to the Convention Center and Civic Center,” he said, adding that they were excited about the “potential opportunity.”
“More information will be shared if it becomes available,” he added.
R.I. Convention Center Authority executive director Daniel McConaghy, who runs the agency that oversees The Dunk and the R.I. Convention Center, declined to comment on Amica’s involvement, although he confirmed an announcement is forthcoming.
“As we have said all along, we are currently negotiating the naming rights agreement with our preferred partner,” McConaghy said. “We do not expect to conclude the agreement until the first or second week of September.”
Dunkin’ renewed its initial 10-year contract in 2011 and was paying about $500,000 per year for the naming rights until the deal expired this year.
As Target 12 first reported in March, McConaghy told lawmakers negotiations were underway for the naming rights, as Dunkin’s latest contract was slated to expire the following month.
On April 1, the Convention Center Authority issued a request for proposals, soliciting offers from other companies. The Convention Center Authority has not yet disclosed who else submitted bids, but public records show interested parties submitted multiple rounds of questions about what the deal would entail.
In addition to the popular PC basketball games and the Providence Bruins, The Dunk also hosts a slew of other events throughout the year. The Convention Center Authority estimates the entire complex draws about 800,000 attendees per year, according to bidding documents.
The new naming rights deal is expected to span 10 years, with an option for the Convention Center Authority to grant an extension, according to bidding documents.
Ted Nesi (email@example.com) is a Target 12 investigative reporter and 12 News politics/business editor. He co-hosts Newsmakers and writes Nesi’s Notes on Saturdays. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook