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New digital signs will be a money-maker for City of Abbotsford

An illustration of an electronic advertising billboard planned by the City of Abbotsford. -
An illustration of an electronic advertising billboard planned by the City of Abbotsford.
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A large electronic sign will be installed on Salton Road, adjacent to Highway 1, to promote the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre, community functions and private businesses.

The city is lauding a new 20-year deal with Pattison Outdoor Advertising – which will pay all capital costs for the sign and could earn the city almost $10 million over the life of the contract.

According to the city staff report, Pattison has “the exclusive right to sell advertising on digital structures within the city,” with the exception of existing structures like the Tradex and Fraser Valley Auto Mall signs.

The proposed 14x48-foot digital sign is the first of three to be built in the city. Pattison will also erect two smaller (10x20) signs to be located by the Abbotsford Visitor Centre and the municipal building.

The city also has the option for six more signs if the program proves successful.

Under the agreement, the city has 10 per cent of the time on all structures, but will receive a minimum guaranteed share of the advertising revenue.

It is estimated the city revenue, over the 20-year deal, could reach $9.9 million, with an additional $4.6 million worth of free advertising.

“We believe we have made the best deal possible for the city,” said Frank Pizzuto.

Pizzuto said the city chose the Pattison group for a variety of reasons, including the guarantee of revenue.

“The potential is limitless and we are in control. We decide whether we want to expand the number of signs or not,” he said.

The city has also dealt with Pattison before, as the local bus stop advertising is handled by the Vancouver-based company.

Council gave its vote of approval on Monday night.

“It’s a pretty good deal for us,” said Abbotsford Mayor George Peary. “This sign by the freeway is long overdue.”

Counc. Les Barkman said the sign could be sponsored, generating more revenue, and perhaps help land a long-awaited naming sponsor for the arena.

The first sign is expected to be completed in time to promote the Abbotsford Heat’s 2011/2012 season.

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