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Putting your brand on a state-owned building could become reality

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Ever thought of the John Deere Department of Agriculture building or the Bass Pro Shops Fish and Boat Commission building?

It’s something that could happen if the idea by two Pennsylvania senators to sell naming rights to most state-owned buildings gets approved.

Sens. David Argall (R-Schuylkill County) and Randy Vulakovich (R – Allegheny County) came up with the proposal. It is based on the deal brokered with Weis Markets in 2012 to brand the exposition hall at the Farm Show complex as the “Weis Exposition Center”. The complex also is home to the New Holland Arena.

Funds from the sale of naming rights would go toward paying for the renovation of aging state-owned buildings, and would hopefully ease the demand for office space the state leases from private owners, the senators said.

The sale of naming rights is commonplace in sporting venues, where names like PNC Park, Lincoln Financial Field and Verizon Center come to mind.

“Office space is already commercialized, it’s for business, so I don’t think it would really cause much of a blight,” Alex Post, who is visiting Harrisburg, said.

One area that senators say is not for sale is the State Capitol and the Capitol Complex, which is generally supported by the public.

“People would probably over time forget about it being the Capitol, and deal with the name, oh Firestone, that’s real, no Harrisburg, used to be that, that type of thing,” Tim Hannigan said.

The senators hope to present the idea to their colleagues in the coming weeks as budget talks heat up.