The fountain and front entrance of Rabobank Arena, which opened in October 1998.

The name of Rabobank Arena will be changed to “Mechanics Bank Arena, Theater and Convention Center” after the two banking companies merged on Sept. 1.

The Bakersfield City Council approved the name change during Wednesday’s meeting.

Mechanics Bank, a community-based bank based in Walnut Creek, Calif., with 44 branches and $6 billion in assets, will be responsible for paying the city $350,000 per year for the next six years as part of the naming agreement, the city said in the council agenda.

The signage for the arena and convention center will remain the same for the near future as a new logo and sign is developed, said Rabobank’s marketing manager, Nick Wynne.

But soon, a new sign and a new name will grace the front of the multi-function venue in downtown Bakersfield that has been named after Rabobank National Association for the last 14 years.

The facility’s website, rabobankarena.com will eventually be changed to mechanicsbankarena.com, but the switch has not yet been made.

Arena officials plan to unveil the new logo soon, and hope the change does not result in confusion.

Rabobank was headquartered in Roseville, and had 100 branches and more than $13 billion in assets, according to the city.

After the merger, Mechanics Bank will have 144 branches and in excess of $17 billion in assets, the city said.

“The (name change) continues a positive relationship with a local business partner, and staff looks forward to a smooth transition and welcoming Mechanics Bank into the community,” Deputy City Attorney Joshua Rudnick wrote in the City Council agenda.

You can reach Sam Morgen at 661-395-7415. You may also follow him on Twitter @smorgenTBC.

(3) comments

Patrick Pine

Apparently Mechanics Bank has closed its pruchase of Rabobank. But Rabobank's major role in agriculture finance is not part of the deal - Rabobank is keeping its agricultural assets. But that may be a mixed blessing - Rabobank is dealing with some significant agricultural bankruptcies - especially amongst dairies.




I was sorry it changed from Centennial Gardens to the Robobank Arena many years ago. I thought Centennial Gardens was a really nice venue name for a community that seemed to be moving forward. Although I understand the naming rights come with the money, Mechanics Bank sounds worse...Just my humble opinion.

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