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Ice Palace, Sun Dome renew marketing deal

After a year in partnership, the Ice Palace and the USF Sun Dome have decided to renew their working relationship.

Clark Brooks, marketing and promotions manager for the USF Sun Dome, said because the Ice Palace has 20,000 seats and the Sun Dome has 10,000 they have decided to combine marketing and advertising for mutual benefit.

“The Sun Dome and the Ice Palace are in a partnership to share resources and to steer events to one another,” Brooks said.

Brooks said he thinks the partnership will go on for a long time.

“Hopefully, there is no foreseeable end to this partnership. It is mutually beneficial,” Brooks said.

On March 1, 2001 both complexes joined together for the first time to create a larger marketing base.

Rob Franklin, vice president and general manager of the Ice Palace, said the outlook for the partnership is good.

“The arrangement (between the Ice Palace and the Sun Dome) is brand new and we have had an unofficial working relationship before that,” Franklin said. “The Ice Palace is a viable alternative to the Sun Dome for certain events, and there is no reason why it shouldn’t continue.”

Brooks said the companies have been successful in the partnership for the last year.

“We are very pleased with how it’s gone so far. We have been able to provide each other with good resources,” Brooks said.

When the partnership first began he was unsure of the outcome.

“We weren’t sure at first; it’s a unique thing,” Brooks said. “It was a feeling-out process and we ironed out everything quickly and pain free.”

Brooks said the partnership would work to the advantage of both the Sun Dome and the Ice Palace.

“Because this partnership gives us a wider marketing base, we can take advantage of each other’s strong points.”Franklin said he thinks the partnership offers flexibility in negotiating for events to come to Tampa.

“It’s good that we have different options when the Ice Palace is already busy and a fixture of events that are already scheduled here,” Franklin said.

Franklin said the Tampa Bay Lightening, The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and other events have already reserved several dates.

“It is helpful to have an alternative to Ice Palace, which is a very large and expensive place to run,” Franklin said.

Franklin said the key to the partnership is seating capacity.

“For events like “Dragon Tales” and boxing, the Sun Dome was more appropriate for these events,” Franklin said. He said the Ice Palace’s goal is to remain involved in bringing events to Tampa that may not happen otherwise.

“This is part of the reason for the partnership. It gives us the incentive to put an event at the Sun Dome if the Ice Palace isn’t appropriate,” Franklin said.

Contact Kelly Icardi at