The outdoor concert venue at the Florida State Fairgrounds has yet another name: the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre at the Florida State Fairgrounds.
MidFlorida Credit Union entered into a contract to keep its name on the amphitheater for three years, the company announced Wednesday at a news conference.
“We were looking at ways to make our name be a household name,” MidFlorida president and CEO Kevin Jones said. “When the idea of this partnership came up, I said 'this is perfect.' It's an immediate impact, because they're going to have concerts right away and our name will be on the radio. It's a perfect fit.”
MidFlorida is the fifth largest credit union in the state of Florida, according to a company news release. It has more than 35 branches, including five in Tampa, and serves more than 160,000 customers in Florida.
“I think it does up our cool factor, too,” Jones said. “Obviously, we want to attract younger customers. Now that we can associate with the amphitheater and offer ticket giveaways, it does that.”
Executives from Live Nation, the entertainment company that operates the venue, and MidFlorida declined to reveal how much the credit union paid for the naming rights.
The venue, at Interstate 4 and U.S. 301, has a capacity of 20,000. It opened in 2004 as the Ford Amphitheatre and became the 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre in 2010, when the naming rights were purchased by the lawyer referral service.
That Ask-Gary deal ended in February, and for the past few months the arena has been known as the Live Nation Amphitheatre.
“The process took a few months to make sure the partnership was right,” said David Harb, general manager of the facility. “It's important for us to look to the local community for a partner. We want to work with organizations that are based out of our area, and MidFlorida is. Our mission when we built this amphitheater was to build a building for the community, and that's what we've done. Now things have come full circle where our name supports this community as well.”
Acts booked to perform at the amphitheater in coming months include Lil Wayne, Dave Matthews Band, Bob Dylan, Black Sabbath, Brad Paisley, John Mayer, the Jonas Brothers, Maroon 5, Kid Rock and Keith Urban.