ANAHEIM, CA (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The Grove of Anaheim is changing its name to the City National Grove of Anaheim after agreeing to a five-year naming rights deal with City National Bank.
Execs have agreed to the 1,700 seat Orange County venue name change deal estimated at $1.25M, most of which will go to Nederlander Concerts. Nederlander manages, operates and books performers at the Grove.
"We're thrilled," said Kevin Dunigan, executive vice president of City National Bank and regional executive for Orange County.
"We look at the Grove of Anaheim as one of the top 30 entertainment venues in the world. For us, it's a natural extension of how we've grown in Orange County. We believe that by getting our name up in lights at such a fabulous venue – it's a real awareness booster," Dunigan said according to the Orange County Register.
"It was a natural fit," said Adam Millar, general manager of the City National Grove of Anaheim according to the Orange County Register. "We've been banking and had a relationship with them for years and years."
Millar said the renaming gives the Grove more resources for promoting events, entertaining guests and procuring quality acts in the future.
The venue is owned by the city of Anaheim, which will not receive any money directly from the name change deal, though the city gets 60 percent of the Grove's revenue, according to the Orange County Register.
The venue opened in November 1998 as Tinseltown Studios, a Hollywood-themed restaurant and theater. It was renamed the Sun Theater in August 1999, then became the Grove of Anaheim in December 2001.
Bob Dylan, B.B. King, Julio Iglesias, Boz Scaggs, Merle Haggard, George Lopez, Jamie Foxx, Seal, Something Corporate and Jaguares have all performed at the Grove.
Alex Hodges, new chief executive officer at Nederlander, said he expects several benefits to come from the new name.
"For the bank, it's exposure," he said according to the Orange County Register. "For the fan, it's retained the name 'Grove.' The name remains basically the same. It's a revenue stream for the city, and that's good."
— Crystal Lynn Huntoon