Ascension Parish’s outgoing president works to complete projects before he turns over the keys _lowres (copy).1220

Dio Martinez, 35, an insulator with contractor Apex Industries, paints glue Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, on a black insulation that covers the end of piping used in a new cooling system installed for the 4-H building at Lamar-Dixon Expo Center near Gonzales. The cooling system is part of a $5.7 million federally funded renovation of the 75,000-square-foot building that is nearing completion.

One of the largest buildings on the campus of Lamar-Dixon Expo Center near Gonzales will soon be named after Ascension Parish telecommunications company Eatel.

The 68,000-square foot 4-H building, a climate-controlled exhibition hall at Lamar-Dixon, will become the Eatel Center under the 10-year sponsorship deal the Parish Council approved this week.

In exchange, the parish will get services from Eatel, not cash. They include internet connection with guaranteed upload and download speeds, wireless connections across the multi-use complex's 247-acre site near I-10 and La. 30, streaming television service and maintenance, and related services.

As part of the package, Eatel will also be able to put up two banner signs on the property, another at the complex's soccer fields, tickets for all events, listing on the complex's website, the ability to put up signs on other building if requested and other benefits.

The agreement and naming rights last through Nov. 30, 2030.

Kyle Rogers, center director, told council members Thursday the agreement will upgrade the center's wireless and streaming services and allow the center to "go after larger consumer shows" and other events that draw larger crowds who use up wireless data.

"This is a really, really, really positive thing for Lamar, and this was an advertising space that we felt was available for this type of trade," he said. 

The name rights deal doesn't allow Eatel to include its name for the entire complex, however.

Under the parish deal to buy the center in 2009, the then private owners required that the parish keep the center's name, Lamar-Dixon Expo Center, in perpetuity but did allow the parish to sell naming rights to all center buildings.

The council also extended or approved two other sponsorship agreements Thursday with Coca-Cola and Jani-King; they involved more traditional cash deals in exchange for advertising and other rights.


Email David J. Mitchell at dmitchell@theadvocate.com

Follow David J. Mitchell on Twitter, @NewsieDave.