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BATON ROUGE - The city's downtown performing arts, entertainment and convention space will likely be known - officially - as the Raising Cane's River Center following a vote by the Metro Council Wednesday afternoon.

The mayor's office and River Center managers told the council at a meeting a group started working on a sponsorship for the facility a year ago. The group sent proposals to thirty-nine companies, six responded and only Raising Cane's expressed enough interest in the $3 million contract.

The deal is for ten years and will raise between $300,000 and nearly $400,000 each year. Money will be used in an official city account on River Center upgrades and support.

Naming rights deals are not unusual for event centers. In 2011, automaker Mercedes bought the naming rights to the Superdome in New Orleans. It is now called the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. A price for the ten-year deal was never disclosed.

At the council meeting in Baton Rouge Wednesday, those close to the deal said the mayor's office could move forward with the deal Thursday since it received council approval. 

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