The Androscoggin Bank Colisee in 2018. The Lewiston arena has been renamed The Colisee, following the expiration of the agreement with Androscoggin Bank. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal file photo

LEWISTON — Androscoggin Bank no longer holds the naming rights, so for at least the near future the Maine Nordiques’ arena will be known as “The Colisee.”

The naming rights expired sometime in 2020, according to Darryl Antonacci, who owns the Nordiques and The Colisee. Antonacci said he will look into updating the building’s naming rights during the offseason. He is keeping all options open, including re-upping with Androscoggin Bank, with whom Antonacci said he still maintains a business relationship.

“I think it’s too early to (know). We will have to see how this (coronavirus pandemic) plays out,” Antonacci said prior to the Nordiques’ home game against the Johnstown Tomahawks on Saturday. “Androscoggin Bank is still our bank, but the question going forward with different sponsorships — with the digital advertising that we are doing with the video boards displays, that’s going to change the model to more of an advertising model. We will just have to see how it pans out the next few months.”

Antonacci said he hasn’t renewed any sponsorships for the 2020-21 season, during which the Nordiques have had fans for only nine of the 30 games played at The Colisee due to state restrictions limiting indoor gatherings to 50 people.

The Colisee welcomed back fans for the Nordiques’ games over weekend, the first time since the fall.

“We had a very internally successful year because we kept playing without fans (for majority of the season),” Antonacci said. “Now that we are returning to fans, (last Saturday) was free admission, last (Friday) was free admission. We want to reengage the community.”


Antonacci added: “My philosophy right now is try to encourage the community to reengage with us. We have a really good product for (junior) hockey and we have really great academy (18U and 16U hockey) teams.”

The Nordiques announced Tuesday that admission to this weekend’s home games against the New Jersey Titans will again be free. The teams play Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.

Androscoggin Bank first acquired the naming rights to the arena in the summer of 2006. As of Saturday night, the facade still had the Androscoggin Bank Colisee signage.

The building also was called “The Colisee” from 2004-06, prior to Androscoggin Bank acquired the naming rights. From 1958 to 1989, the arena was known as the Central Maine Youth Center, and from 1989-2004 it was the Central Maine Civic Center.

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