The North Main Athletic Complex could soon be known as Ting Park, or another name containing Ting, the company that provides high-speed internet service to Holly Springs.
Holly Springs unanimously approved an agreement Feb. 7 that would allow the company to rename the town’s $19 million athletic complex, which opened in 2015 and has been home to the Holly Springs Salamanders for two seasons.
The agreement gives the company naming rights for the facility’s 1,800-seat, multi-purpose stadium and the complex at large. It doesn’t include naming the turf soccer fields and tennis courts. Naming rights for those facilities are still available, town officials said.
The town will receive about $330,000 over three years.
Ting Internet leases a town-owned fiber network and joined AT&T in providing gigabit fiber-optic internet to the town’s residents last month.
As part of the agreement, the town will refer to the complex by Ting’s chosen name in all official town communications, and Ting will be able to use the facility for two company-sponsored events each year.
The three-year contract won’t begin until the complex’s primary sign is erected. Town spokesman Mark Andrews said he expects that process could take several months.
A name like “Ting Park” is expected to be chosen, although the contract gives the company some discretion over the name while giving the town veto power if a proposed name is too unusual.
Daniel Weeks, Holly Springs’ assistant town manager, said the town had considered pursuing the sale of the complex’s naming rights for the past few years. The town approached Ting about six months ago about such an agreement, he said.
The North Main Athletic Complex is home to the Holly Springs Salamanders, a collegiate summer league baseball team, and Wake Tech’s baseball team. It also leases soccer fields to Wake Football Club and hosts other athletic events throughout the year.
The complex will host two major tournaments in the coming years. The National Club Baseball Association will hold the Division I World Series in Holly Springs this year and in 2018. The event is expected to bring in $2 million over two years, chamber officials have said.
This July, the Coastal Plain League’s 19th annual All-Star game will be held at the complex, a two-day event expected to bring up to $3 million to the area.
Mayor Dick Sears said he has appreciated how unobtrusive Ting’s fiber installation practices have been relative to those of other fiber service providers, which have generated complaints throughout the area while laying fiber cables along residential streets.
Sears said the town wouldn’t want to burden one of its most popular facilities by associating it with an unpopular company, Sears said, but he’s confident Ting’s name will continue to develop a positive connotation among residents as it builds its network in Holly Springs during the next three years.
“We’ve already been out to watch how they do it compared to their competition,” Sears said. “Their tear-up is minimal. When a rival company came into our neighborhood, they tore up some of the yards pretty good. They fixed it pretty well, but not great.”
Andrews said he thinks Ting saw an opportunity to create a close association with its service and the town. Ting offers fiber service in just three towns around the country, which makes its relationship with Holly Springs especially meaningful, he said.
The agreement is similar to naming-rights deals forged between the Town of Cary’s soccer complex and SAS in 2004 and later with WakeMed in 2008.
“Ting had some interest in getting there first,” Andrews said. “Because some people still call it SAS Soccer Park. People remember who had the name first. Like with the RBC Arena, in Raleigh – I can’t even remember what it’s called now.”
Gargan: 919-829-4807; @hgargan