An arena in the region is being re-named.
The name of L.C. Walker Arena in downtown Muskegon will be changed to Mercy Health Arena by the end of the year, with updated signage coming in January 2020, according to the health system and the city of Muskegon yesterday.
Mercy Health signed a letter of intent with the city of Muskegon to become the naming rights sponsor of L.C. Walker Arena.
The 15-year commitment will cover the re-naming and re-branding of the facility and ensure the sustainability of the arena for the future, the partners said.
The deal will cost Mercy Health $100,000 per year.
Over the past four years, the city of Muskegon has invested more than $4 million in the arena to upgrade concession areas and restrooms, replace the roof and replace the facility's boiler and de-humidification systems.
Mercy Health's sponsorship will keep the momentum going and sustain the improvements that have already been made.
"It is vital to Mercy Health's long-term strategy that the revitalization of downtown Muskegon continues," said Gary Allore, president, Mercy Health Muskegon. "The arena is home to so many events that are important to our community.
“This is an opportunity for us to continue investing in a community we care deeply about, a place where our patients and our colleagues come and enjoy many offerings from this arena."
The arena was named after the late Louis Carlisle Walker — a leading Muskegon industrialist at the turn of the 20th century and a major contributor to the $1.5-million arena in 1960.
The arena now hosts more than 50 sports, entertainment and other events that attract 100,000 people each year.
"The L.C. Walker Arena has long been a great asset to our downtown," said Frank Peterson, the city manager of Muskegon.
"I'm excited that Mr. Walker's vision, creating a vibrant year-round downtown, lives on today. His gift to our community and our new partnership with Mercy Health will help ensure that this community asset is here for generations to come."