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HealthEast seeks naming rights for Woodbury sports complex

Bielenberg Sports Center. File photo

Bielenberg Sports Center may be known as the HealthEast Sports Center as early as next month, following the health care chain's offer to take over naming rights at the Woodbury sports facility.

HealthEast announced Friday that it is proposing a $1.7 million marketing and sponsorship deal with the city of Woodbury that would give the east metro health system exclusive naming rights at the sports center for the next 14 years.

Pending city council approval, Woodbury’s largest private employer would pay $126,785 annually until 2031. The agreement also includes a $1.5 million extension for five years when the contract expires.

The city council plans to discuss the agreement at its April 19 meeting.

Council will later deliberate where to deposit marketing proceeds.

According to a memo by Woodbury City Administrator Clint Gridley, HealthEast reached a private agreement to take over naming rights from Minnesota United FC, who in 2013 signed a marketing and sponsorship agreement with the city.

The soccer club intended to use part of the center as a training facility but determined the space was too small and backed away in 2015.

The team still maintained its sponsorship and marketing contract at the sports complex.

Tracy Miland, HealthEast’s vice president for strategy, customer experience and marketing, said in a statement Friday that the agreement would allow for ways to promote healthy behaviors and lifestyles.

The health care system plans to host screenings, concussion testing and flu shot clinics at the sports center.

“As an organization dedicated to improving the health of our neighbors, this opportunity is consistent with our vision to deliver optimal health and well-being for our patients, our communities and ourselves,” Miland said.

The statement did not mention HealthEast’s proposed merger with Fairview. Company leaders for both systems announced last month they plan to combine, which would create the largest health network in the Twin Cities.

If the merger leads to a rebrand, HealthEast could propose an alternative name for the Woodbury complex, according to a draft of the agreement.

The agreement also notes HealthEast would bear the costs of developing logo designs and signs, with the exception of a monument sign. In that case, the city would pay for half of the costs.

City leaders could take action on the proposed agreement as early as April 26.