Moncton — Outgoing Moncton Mayor George LeBlanc announced the city signed a major sponsorship deal with MMA apparel brand Tapout for the planned downtown events centre. At a press conference at city hall on Monday, LeBlanc shared the details of the 5-year, $4-million agreement, which includes naming rights, exterior signage, indoor banners and a Tapout branded apparel boutique.
“We feel this is a good fit for Moncton. We spoke to other potential sponsors, but none expressed the same level of enthusiasm and commitment for our city than the Tapout ownership group,” LeBlanc said.
LeBlanc also touted the savings to taxpayers the additional revenue will bring. “Corporate sponsorship for stadiums is standard practice these days. We’re aware of taxpayers’ concerns, and we believe this deal will go a long way in alleviating some of those concerns.”
Citizens groups have shared their fears that the burden of financing a project of this magnitude would unjustly be borne by local taxpayers through higher property taxes, increased water rates, and more stringent parking regulations zealously enforced by a platoon of geriatrics in Smart cars.
Although no potential names for the downtown centre were revealed, sources told The Manatee that two names being considered are the “Tapout Centre” and the “Tapout Arena.”
Tapout co-founder Dan “Punkass” Caldwell, who was in the city for the announcement, could barely conceal his excitement. Standing in front of Bubba Ray’s sports bar on Main Street, a well-known meeting place for local MMA enthusiasts to watch UFC events, Caldwell declared:
“Moncton is a Tapout town. You can see it everywhere, from all the people wearing our gear to the many decals I see on vehicles here. I’m confident we’ve found the perfect city to build the Tapout brand.”
Glancing appreciatively toward Robinson Court, Caldwell praised the downtown atmosphere.
“Come down here on a Friday night and you really feel the Tapout vibe with all the Rev- and Red Bull-fuelled aggression. I’ve rarely seem a place with so many amped-up dudes just ready to open up a can of whoop-ass at the slightest provocation.”
Caldwell added that a Tapout branded brewpub — “All Tapped Out” — might eventually be opened at the events centre. Beer enthusiasts and sports fans alike can enjoy one of Tapout’s signature craft beers like the Triangle Choke IPA or the Arm Bar Stout. The brewpub also features a full pub grub menu. “The Ground and Pound Burger is my favourite,” Caldwell said. “It really hits the spot when you get that urge to just go out and unleash your inner beast.”