For the past 14 years, locals have known the sports arena and entertainment center in Downtown Albany as the Times Union Center (or the “TU,” for short). But today, the Times Union newspaper company declined to renew its naming rights agreement with the center’s owner, Albany County, so it’ll be under a new name soon.
According to the Times Union, the reason the newspaper’s publisher, George Hearst III, gave for declining to renew the agreement was to focus on bolstering its newsroom, digital subscriptions and recent expansion into the Hudson Valley.
“We’re in the midst of an evolution at the Times Union that will deepen our impact across the Capital Region and Hudson Valley and expand our ability to report on the diverse communities we serve,” said Hearst. “With digital subscriptions growing and new hiring in our newsroom, the time has come to open up the opportunity for another company to put their name on the arena as we shift our focus to reaching new audiences in different ways and double down on our commitment to meet our region’s need for high-quality, trusted, local journalism.”
First opened in 1990 as the Knickerbocker Arena, seven years later, Pepsi gained the naming rights to the building. The Times Union stepped in in January of 2007.